For the 2017 NFL season the only thing that will define the Arizona Cardinals success will be what they get out of Carson Palmer.
Palmer played well last season, but was also not as good as he was in 2015 and that caused the Cardinals as a whole to fall.
Surely the 7-8-1 record was not all on Palmer, but much like the 13-3 record was not because of his ascension and greatest individual season of his career, there is a definitely a corollary.
That is why the confidence in Carson Palmer according to ESPN’s yearly quarterback confidence index is declining:
When your performance declines in your age-36 season, that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Carson Palmer's completion percentage last season was his lowest since 2011, when he was a Raider. (Remember Palmer as a Raider?) His yards per attempt were his lowest since 2010, when he was a Bengal. (Remember Palmer as a Bengal?) Touchdowns down, interceptions up, fumbles way up ... it was alarming stuff all the way across the board for Palmer in 2016.
While Palmer’s decline in play is slightly overstated, it does make sense that there is a cause for concern, because the Cardinals put so much on Palmer and his success is so intertwined into the overall success of the team.
However, it is the rest of the quarterback room that leads to much of the lack of confidence:
The Cardinals didn't draft a quarterback, but they added Blaine Gabbert and undrafted rookie Trevor Knight to a backup corps that already included Drew Stanton and Zac Dysert. The only other teams with five quarterbacks right now are the Vikings (if you count injured Teddy Bridgewater) and the Bills (we'll get to them in a second).
The reality is for the Cardinals, they can go one of two ways, and one is tied to Palmer while the other is tied to getting a greater focus on the running game and defense. The outcome of the season, in my opinion can be strong if Palmer finds his 2015 form again, a career year, or be less than expected (7-9 wins again).
If Palmer is healthy and throwing it the way he was in 2015, the Cardinals are as confident as anyone. But there isn't a real solid feel to the quarterback situation in the desert right now.
Outside of Arizona, that seems to be the feel for many. Maybe it is that way in Arizona as well.