Cardinals coach Bruce Arians thinks it would put him in the conversation.
Even if it’s not true, this is a hell of a way for Arians to light a bigger fire under his quarterback before what is likely Palmer’s final season (he weighed retirement before the start of this season). While many might have given up on the Arizona Super Bowl train after last year’s 7-8-1 disappointment, Arians realizes this is likely his best chance to take home a Lombardi trophy. It will take years to develop another quarterback as skilled as Palmer and even if he does, the team’s core — led by future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald — will never be fully intact again.
Interestingly enough, if Palmer does win a ring this year it will at least force a conversation many likely never thought they’d be having. Right now, Palmer is 14th all-time in yards, just 2,545 yards behind 10th-place Ben Roethlisberger — a quarterback who already has cemented his credentials.
Palmer also has 285 touchdowns (14th all-time), which is only 15 behind 10th-place John Elway. While Peyton Manning’s 539 seems only reachable by an ageless Tom Brady at this point, an average Palmer season would have him right in the mix alongside the Hall of Fame-bound Big Three from the 2004 draft class (Roethlisberger, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers).
The only rub on Palmer would be his postseason credentials. Palmer is 1-3 in the playoffs. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL before the 2014 postseason, which would have given him another chance to alter those numbers. He also had his knee torn up on the first play of a 2006 playoff matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The NFL would greatly benefit from a Palmer comeback season, especially with the Seahawks expected to run away with the division again. The Cardinals have met their fair share of bumps and bad luck on each of their playoff pushes under Arians, though one good, deep run could change everything.