The Arizona Cardinals are in an interesting spot. They have a veteran quarterback in Carson Palmer that can win football games. However, Palmer is in the final seasons of his career. We din't know how long he will play at a high level and we know how long he will want to play.
So at some point, the Cards have to look to the future at the position. Inevitably, that will be through the draft.
Palmer, who spoke about the topic (via AZCardinals.com), was surprisingly reasonable about the situation.
"If you are in a position to draft the best player on your board, and that's the best position to be in as an organization, and (a quarterback) is the best player on the board, you are not only making your team better by creating competition but you are helping out the future," Palmer said. "I know I'm not going to play forever. It's hard for us players to admit that. The older you get the harder it is to admit it. You don't see it happening. You still feel good, you still feel confident, you still feel healthy.
"But that's the reality. That's the business. It doesn't matter how you feel about it, whether it irks you or you don't care. That's the game."
I would suppose it helps that the head coach and general manager both have praised Palmer for his play and expressed confidence in him. The team would have to "be in love with" a quarterback to draft him early this year.
However, Palmer has been in this situation before, in some way. In fact, it is kind of interesting. After the 2010 season in Cincinnati, Palmer had had enough. He wanted out of that organization.
In March of 2011, he told a Cincinnati television station that he would rather retire than return to the Bengals, saying he had $80 million in the bank and that, "I don't have to play football for money. I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere."
The Bengals went on to draft Andy Dalton and Palmer stayed home until he was traded to the Raiders.
Correct or not, Palmer had the reputation for being a "me-first" kind of guy, a guy that some said just didn't want to be in the situation of competing with a rookie for the starting job.
Either he is super confident that he will not have to worry about a rookie taking his job, he has changed his attitude or he really was misunderstood.
The truth is that Palmer viably be a good starter for a number of years. The Cardinals, though, don't want to be in a situation where they are not prepared. Carson Palmer is what he is. He is a solid quarterback that makes some bad decisions. He wins you some games and sometimes can lose you some. He has not been a championship QB. He is the type of QB that could win one with the right weapons, defense and situation. That might be the case this year. But, as we can see throughout his career, he has not been the guy to take what would be a bad team to become a good team. He has put up good numbers on bad teams.
Should the Cardinals draft a quarterback? They probably should. Should they target a guy early? That's the question. They should only do it if they are really sold on him.
What do you think? I know there are some that feel the time is now. Early rounds? Later rounds? Wait until next year?
What should the Cards do?
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