This Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals talk has been very conflicting for me. The first reaction is to think about how the quarterback play has been for the past couple of years and then look at what Palmer did last year with virtually nothing. If you do that, then you think, "well, yeah, bring him in -- he's great!" Just imagine him with the offensive weapons that the Cardinals have. He is the missing link! He would immediately make the team a contender in the division!
But then you look at things beyond the stats. When has Palmer had team success? In nine NFL seasons, he has led his team to a winning record twice. He has been unhappy in both of his last teams. Being in Oakland and Cincinnati, it is hard to fault him, but there's still this thing that bothers you -- he can put up stats, but is he a winner? Does he stand up to the test of brain and heart that head coach Bruce Arians feels is most important with a quarterback?
I was all set to write about how, despite my initial reactions of how much better he is than anyone that has started for Arizona since Kurt Warner retired, the Cardinals were repeating an old mistake. Carson Palmer would be no different than Boomer Esiason, Dave Krieg or Jeff Blake. They were all veteran quarterbacks that at one time were pretty good (Blake being the weakest example) that were brought in to be a stopgap until the team could develop a young guy.
They didn't do. There were some pretty gaudy passing games, but there wasn't much winning.
Palmer fits that mold, only he hasn't won much. Esiason took a team to the Super Bowl. Krieg went to the playoffs six times. But to no avail. They weren't the answer, or even an answer.
I was ready to write a column that was a lot like what John Gambodoro wrote. To sign or trade for Palmer would be to repeat history.
The only thing was, as I was looking back at the hosts of players that have started a quarterback for the Cardinals over the last 20 years, is that the Cardinals have tried about everything and failed.
Acquiring Palmer is repeating history.
However, so is bringing in Drew Stanton.
Stanton is a younger player who has started a few games, but is largely unproven. You know who else fits that profile? Kevin Kolb, Kent Graham, Chris Chandler and Steve Beuerlein. So why exactly is Stanton a better option than Palmer? He probably isn't, except for the part where Bruce Arians is comfortable with him and has seen him develop.
The only success the Cards have had at QB are Kurt Warner, who after looking washed up, returned to look like the QB he was with the Rams and winning MVP awards, and Jake Plummer, whom they drafted and developed. The only thing with Plummer is that he was very up and down, so even his time here can be seen with a critical eye.
Basically, the Cards have tried everything and failed. They have brought in veterans who have had success. They weren't successful. They have brought in younger guys with potential. They weren't either. They have drafted players early and late in the draft. Busts and failed projects.
Palmer isn't going to be the answer. The only thing at the end of his career that will stand out is that he will have managed to start at QB for three of the NFL's historically mismanaged teams.
He is not the answer for the Cardinals. He likely isn't even a real solution for right now. But he is best option right now. The only way the team gets out of this current rut is to draft and develop a quarterback -- and not likely a late round project. The issue is that that people aren't too sold on any of the guys in this year's draft. He might be there, but there is no Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin by all appearances.
So should the Cardinals go after Carson Palmer? Sure. Why the heck not? Being the answer or not, he is the best one to be had right now.
Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.