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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer announces retirement

The Cardinals lose their quarterback a day after the Cardinals head coach retires

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals and their fans knew this day was coming, but it happened much sooner and in successive days.

Carson Palmer, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback the last five seasons, has announced his retirement from the NFL.

A day after the Cardinals lost their head coach of the last five seasons, Carson Palmer has followed suit and decided to hang it up.

For Palmer, the question is not how good he was, it was how good he could have been with health benefiting him.

Despite missing parts of three seasons, Palmer put up huge numbers for the Arizona Cardinals:

16,782 yards 105 touchdowns and only 57 interceptions. Most importantly, Palmer won here, going 38-21-1 in 60 career starts.

Despite only five seasons and 60 games, Palmer finishes his career as a top quarterback in a number of career stats for the Cardinals:

Passing Yards: 4th
Yards Per Game: 1st
Passing Touchdowns: 4th
Passer Rating: 2nd
Wins: 3rd
Fourth quarter comebacks: 5th
Game winning drives: 3rd

The question with Palmer, much like it is with Bruce Arians, will be, what-if?

What-if he doesn’t blow out his knee in 2014?

What-if he doesn’t break his finger in Philadelphia in 2015?

For the last five seasons, there was no question who the starting quarterback would be for the Arizona Cardinals. That was the first time that happened for the team since the back-to-back Kurt Warner seasons.

Now, they not only have to find a new head coach, but they need to find a quarterback who can lead the way Palmer did, but find one who can be the answer for five seasons and more for the Cardinals.

Good luck Carson, enjoy retirement and thank you for everything.