What really lies behind the truth on the trade of Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals?
Most would say that Palmer is done and doesn’t have anything left as a quarterback. Is this true?
Or could it have been the lack of discipline and talent from his previous team?
Let’s break down the important key factors to the situation.
It has been debated that Palmer hasn’t been a mobile QB since his knee injury, but in fact, he was never a mobile QB before he had injured his knee.
Now after going to the Raiders in 2012 things looked promising in the offseason. Drop backs, blocks, and passes were all there. Put pressure on those in a game situation and it can be interrupted very easily.
Now did Palmer have the tools he needed to put his top skills to the test? The answer would be no. With Darren McFadden coming off of a knee injury himself he never really got to a full 100-percent healthy status.
At a whopping 216 total attempts, only 707 yards, with an average of 3.3 yards per carry and 2 touchdowns; I would say the running game was near non-existent. With a running game that can’t be opened up it keeps the passing game tremendously quiet and the running game becomes predictable.
Now even with Darrius Heyward-Bey as the No. 1 wide receiver in Oakland they needed more than just him to make QB Carson Palmer an elite player. Heyward-Bey had good relations with Palmer through the first half of the season connecting on the majority of passes thrown his way.
After the neck injury Heyward-Bey suffered through the second half of the season the receiving corps virtually fell off the map. While a stat of 606 yards on 41 catches with 5 touchdowns, with the time he played is a decent number, it just wasn’t enough.
When Palmer is given the time in the pocket to get his feet underneath him to throw his accurate bullets with his cannon arm he can become deadly. But standing behind what you can call one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL it becomes almost impossible. The Raiders' offensive line made it hard for Palmer to be any asset to the team at all.
With Palmer being traded to the Cardinals it could be the chance he has needed to bring his career and his talent back to life. Not only have the Cardinals made changes to their QB corps, but they have also gained in their backfield. Acquiring a 100-percent healthy Rashard Mendenhall could be the game-changer the Cardinals have been waiting for.
With a power runner like Mendenhall defenses are made to blitz more causing the passing game to open for receivers like Larry Fitzgerald. Adding Mendenhall doesn’t only bring more power and brute force to the running game, but also brings a big asset to the blocking game as well allowing Palmer to have more time in the pocket to make his decisions.
Now with having one of the best receivers in the league and one of the top QB’s now to boot, the Cardinals could be a team to look out for in the 2013 season. But in order for these combinations to come together and work in their favor they are going to have to get the offensive line shaped up.
Coming off a season in 2012 where 58 sacks (most in the NFL) were allowed, they will have to give Palmer better protection than that. So with Palmer potentially being a good option for the Cardinals, they may have more work cut out for them as a team than they thought.