Can Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer Finally be the Man to Replace Kurt Warner?

By Jorge Contreras
Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have been searching for a franchise quarterback since the retirement of future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner in 2010.

To the dismay of All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals have played musical chairs with their quarterbacks. Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer have all tried and failed to replace Warner.

The latest man to try and take the mantles of the Cardinals is former Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer. While Palmer is by far the biggest named quarterback to try and replace Warner, it remains to be seen how much he has left in the tank.

During Palmer’s two-year stint in Oakland, he played like an average quarterback. To be fair, Palmer was basically sitting on his couch when he was traded to the Raiders and he was thrown into the lion’s den without a training camp with his new team. Palmer almost led the Raiders to the playoffs his first season but fell one game short, which was impressive because he didn’t play a single snap with Darren McFadden.

Last season, Palmer was wildly inconsistent and made mistakes that would make a rookie quarterback blush. He did throw for a lot of yards, but he also threw way too many interceptions. One can contribute him and down season last year to the lack of a solid supporting cast, but it remains to be seen if it’s just that his best years are behind him.

This season will mark Palmer’s third fresh start with a team, so we will see how he meshes with his Cardinals teammates. During his glory years, the QB had an All-Pro wide receiver in Chad Johnson. It wouldn’t be surprising if he and Fitzgerald became a top duo in the passing game this year.

Unfortunately for Palmer, the NFC West is stacked with tough aggressive defenses that would like nothing more than to smack him around. If Palmer’s offensive line does not give him time, expect him to throw plenty of interceptions to opposing defenses. The Cardinals have a great young defense and an improving offense, so it falls to Palmer to take them over the hump.

Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras

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