The Arizona Cardinals would be smart to forget about Carson Palmer, but according to multiple reports, the team is about to make a deal for the veteran quarterback. It's a deal the Cardinals will surely regret.
After the Raiders traded for Matt Flynn, Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported the Raiders would then focus on finalizing a trade with the Cardinals to send Palmer to Arizona:
Jay Glazer @JayGlazer
OAK has traded 2 picks to Seattle for Matt Flynn, will sign papers on it this AM & now trying to finalize Carson Palmer to AZ for late pick2013-4-1 14:55:16
On the surface, Palmer to Arizona doesn't seem like a bad fit. He is still capable of pushing the ball downfield, which fits with what new head coach Bruce Arians likes to do on offense. He passed for over 4,000 yards with the Raiders last season, throwing 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
That said, not two weeks have gone by since Arians made news when he said the Cardinals didn't need to look for a quarterback, per the Associated Press (via ESPN):
We already found one...I have all the confidence in the world with him being our starter...We'll exhaust every opportunity in the draft, whoever else is available, but we are quite honestly comfortable with Drew Stanton.
Stanton is an up-and-coming quarterback who has a strong, live arm and who possesses more natural athleticism than Palmer. Arians was responsible for bringing him to Arizona, and the coach has been high on him since his time with the Indianapolis Colts.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported on Monday that should Palmer join Arizona, he'll likely earn up to $8 million in 2013:
Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora
I'm hearing Carson Palmer, whose contract called for $13M in Oakland, will end up making $8M with the Cardinals2013-4-1 16:13:33
That's far too much money to give Palmer, especially given the fact that the Cardinals can't protect quarterbacks.
Palmer isn't an athletic quarterback who is adept at escaping pressure.
Given the Cardinals' inability to block pass-rushers the past two years (58 sacks allowed in 2012 and 54 sacks allowed in 2011), Palmer is liable to get injured, just like Kevin Kolb and John Skelton did last year.
Last season, the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams totaled 126 sacks. Aldon Smith, Chris Long and Cliff Avril will be licking their chops at the chance to rush Palmer as he lines up behind Arizona's horrible offensive line.
Rather than trade for Palmer, the smart move would be to let Stanton develop under the tutelage of Arians, draft some offensive linemen and see what happens in 2013.
Besides, even if Palmer stays healthy all year long, Arizona isn't going to do any damage in the NFC West.
The 49ers, Seahawks and Rams are all miles ahead of the Cardinals in terms of being able to compete for the divisional crown. King agrees, per his report: "Does that mean Arizona will contend? I doubt it sincerely."
Paying Palmer $8 million would be a monumental mistake by Arizona. The franchise just cut the cord on one quarterback who was acquired in an ill-advised trade, and it would be making the same mistake again if Palmer comes on board.
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