With the reported trade of Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers have a new foe in the NFC West.
While Palmer is not the same quarterback he was back in 2003, when he was the first overall pick in that year’s draft, he definitely makes the Cardinals much better at QB than they were last season. Although, that’s not saying much with Arizona’s quarterback carousel combining for 23 touchdown passes and 23 interceptions last season.
The Cardinals and new head coach Bruce Arias are hoping Palmer is the second coming of Kurt Warner. There are similarities between the two as Palmer is 33 years old, while Warner was 34 when he was traded to Arizona from the New York Giants in 2005. He also has Larry Fitzgerald to throw to. But really, the similarities end there. Palmer does not have the same strong arm that made him so impressive coming out of college and he is an aging quarterback with a bad knee.
It is highly unlikely Palmer will be able to turn around not only the Cardinals, but his career like Warner did in Arizona. The biggest reasons are the Cardinals don’t have the same talent on offense or defense that Warner had when he rejuvenated his career in Arizona by leading them to the Super Bowl. Plus, Palmer does not have the same track record of Warner. In fact, it is worse. He gave up on the Cincinnati Bengals because he didn’t like the direction of the team and threatened to retire. He was then traded to the Oakland Raiders and surprise, surprise he soured on them as well. After going 8-15 as a starter, he realized what everyone else already knew, the Raiders are horrible and they are not getting better anytime soon.
So with Palmer now in the NFC West, I doubt the 49ers are shaking in their boots with the thought of having to face the quarterback twice a year. Despite throwing for over 4,000 yards last season with the Raiders, he is a very average quarterback who gets sacked a lot and who plays just as well as Alex Smith inside the red zone. It is only a matter of time before Palmer sours on the Cardinals, just like he did with the Bengals and Raiders.