On the Arizona Cardinals, being a wide receiver has been very similar to being irrelevant in recent years. Just ask superstar Larry Fitzgerald who has seen his prime years dwindle due to substandard quarterback play and pure offensive ineptitude. 2013 could be the year the team turns the corner, but that is the main question still hanging over their heads as they prepare for the upcoming campaign.
Is Carson Palmer finally the answer under center in the desert?
It’s been a long four years since Kurt Warner retired, and the Cards have been searching for an adequate replacement at the most important position on offense since. Although Palmer may have thought he was in the purgatory for quarterbacks with the Oakland Raiders in recent years, he too may find the change of scenery a welcomed sight.
Even though he didn’t find much success in terms of wins and losses in the Bay Area, Palmer still managed to put up respectable statistics. He actually had the third-highest yardage total of his career last season when he eclipsed the 4,000-yard plateau with the Raiders, and that was with a cast of receivers that you wouldn’t recognize if you passed them on the street. With Fitzgerald, a young, developing Michael Floyd, and an emerging Andre Roberts, Palmer will have some instant upgrades to throw to with the Cards.
There’s no doubt he is in the twilight of his career, but that’s exactly when the Cardinals picked up the aforementioned Warner. All he did was get them their first ever trip to the Super Bowl where they nearly pulled off the unthinkable. Palmer doesn’t have the resume of Warner just yet with no Lombardi Trophy to his credit, but he has some veteran knowledge that the team has been lacking since Kurt left. Adding him into the mix with new head coach Bruce Arians could be the perfect ingredients for success in Arizona.
Looking toward the future at quarterback is certainly something the Cardinals will have to do at some point in the next two or three years, but the future is now for this team. It’s easy to argue that Palmer will immediately make Fitzgerald a better player on the outside while his presence will keep defenses honest and allow the Cards more offensive freedom in the running game. Look for the biggest question facing the team to get an emphatic answer as the 2013 NFL season rolls along.
The Cardinals are finally relevant again in the NFC West.