Jan 1, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) in action against the Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
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The Arizona Cardinals knew they were on borrowed time when they traded for Carson Palmer back in 2013. Now the clock is winding down.
Word is the 37-year old quarterback is starting to contemplate his future. After a difficult 2016 season that saw a sharp regression of a Cardinals team that was in the NFC championship the year before, it’s easy to see why. As a player gets older, it becomes harder to summon up the willpower to go through another grueling off-season to prepare for another grueling regular season. Ian Rapoport indicated that Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald are considering retirement.
“Both are contemplating walking away and have been for some time. Neither has told the team if he plans to return, though both Palmer and Fitzgerald have had frequent conversations with coaches and team decision-makers about it, sources said.”
Losing Fitzgerald will be bad enough. Palmer on the other hand presents a serious conundrum for Arizona. Though they still have running back David Johnson, head coach Bruce Arians isn’t a fool. He knows their hopes of contending for a Super Bowl rest at quarterback. Without Palmer their viable options become limited unless they find help. This is something they’ve apparently put off for years.
The Carson Palmer situation for the Cardinals is fascinating. The team was interested in a few QBs in the 2014 class. Not sure about since.
The wait may be over. Problem is who do the Cardinals go after? Knowing Arians and his preferences, it will have to be a quarterback with some size, a good arm and some understanding of a pro-style offense. Keeping to those parameters, here are three names to watch closely over the next couple months if Palmer indeed checks out.
Dec 4, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) waits in the tunnel before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
This may surprise many, but this might be the best solution the team will find. Mike Glennon is somewhat under the radar. A big 6’7″ former 3rd round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he went 5-13 as a starter before being relegated to backup duties. That said he showed plenty of flashes of playmaking skill that are worth exploring. Arizona could probably get him at a favorable price on top of it.
The Cardinals saw first hand what Jimmy Garoppolo could do. He beat them in their own house in the first start of his professional career. That’s a pretty impressive feat. On top of that he fulfills the other requirement. Though not huge he’s got good size to go along with a strong arm and lightning quick release. His accuracy will also be something that intrigues the coaching staff as they try to retool the offense.
If they have no other choice to consider but the draft, then the best option that checks the boxes for the Cardinals is Deshone Kizer. He’s got the size and arm strength Arians loves and spent time in pro-style conditions at Notre Dame. Something none of the other top quarterbacks in the class can say. Kizer still has some serious kinks in his game, but his overall skill set can be exactly what Arizona is looking for. Assuming they’re open to a younger option.