Lists and rankings rule the NFL offseason. This is no different today. Today's list is about quarterbacks. CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora ranked all 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL and placed them in different tiers. The guy we care about as Arizona Cardinals fans is Carson Palmer.
La Canfora places Palmer in Tier 2. In other words, he is a second-tier quarterback. However, while the connotation is negative, the reality is it is good. There are seven tiers and Tier 2 is "top pros, proven winners."
Palmer is the 11th ranked QB overall and the end of the second tier. La Canfora almost put him in Tier 5, the "guys, veterans and place holders."
I went back and forth with him between this tier and putting him in Tier 5. His exits from Cincy and Oakland never sat quite right with him, and his utter failures in the postseason are well chronicled. His regular-season renaissance with Bruce Arians lands him at the bottom of this tier, but it's not with great conviction on my end.
While his career has been rocky until Arizona, he definitely belongs here. There are few others you would want as your guy right now. You could argue him over guys like Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Joe Flacco right now. He is a proven winner and the whole postseason thing is so overblown. He played little in his first game. He played poorly in his second postseason game. He won his next one and then imploded.
He is certainly more than just a guy or a place holder. That is not what everyone thought when he was acquired by the Cardinals. He was going to hold a place until they drafted someone for the future. Now he is the present and the near future. He is playing at a level no other quarterback has in Arizona and there is no reason to believe he will decline with how consistent he has been since the second half of 2013.
In this case, second tier is not second rate. Palmer is roughly where he belongs in this list.
And yes, I am guilty of a click bait headline. Sue me.