One of the mandates that came with the jobs of general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians was to fix the quarterback position for the Arizona Cardinals.
Most have assumed that they would draft and develop one, but that might not be as urgent as many thought it once was.
After acquiring Carson Palmer from the Raiders, the position was settled. He did through 22 interceptions in his first year, but his play in the final half of the season was near fantastic. Through seven games, he had thrown eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In the final nine, though, it was 16 touchdowns to nine INTs, and four of those came in one game (when the Cards upset the Seattle Seahawks at on the road).
Arians was asked if he thought Palmer was a one-year stopgap or their answer for the position long-term.
"There is no doubt he has plenty of juice left in the tank," he answered. "He's in great condition. I would think he could play until 36, 37 easily."
That didn't exactly answer the question. As for being a one-year stopgap, that was probably never really in the cards. His contract made it a two-year plan. His play last year made it clear he was the best option for 2014. His play in 2014 will likely determine whether he continues to play here.
If he plays like he did in the season's second half, it would be crazy to chuck that to the curb. It would have to be a situation in which the next Andrew Luck were sitting there for the Cardinals to draft.
Now, to be clear, Palmer is currently 34. Based on Arians' comment, he easily has two or three seasons left in the tank. That's not necessarily a stopgap, but it isn't a long-term answer. At some point, Arizona will draft a quarterback. But with Palmer playing at a high level, we might not see it for another year or two.