It didn’t take long to realize Bruce Arians was going to ‘shake the tree’ after taking over as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in January.
Gone are safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, Kevin Kolb, former first-round pick Beanie Wells, cornerbacks Greg Toler and William Gay. The Red Birds brought in running back Rashard Mendenhall, quarterback Drew Stanton, cornerback Antoine Cason, and linebacker Jasper Brinkley.
Now it appears Arians and new General Manager Steve Keim are ready to make another splash as reports have linked quarterback Carson Palmer to the Cardinals. The Oakland Raiders are looking to trade Palmer to Arizona after acquiring Matt Flynn from the Seahawks Monday morning.
“The real positive is he has shown the ability to get rid of the football,” ESPN.com NFC West insider Make Sando explained to Brad Cesmat Monday afternoon on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “He didn’t take many sacks last season…playing behind a pretty shaky offensive line in Oakland.”
Sando warned the Red Birds offensive line is still far from a finished product but the presence of Palmer is far better option in Arizona than Kolb, Ryan Lindley, John Skelton and Brian Hoyer who all took regular season snaps last year. The quartet combined to throw 21 interceptions with just 11 touchdowns. They were sacked an astounding 58 times.
The 33-year old Palmer isn’t necessarily the long-term answer if he joins the Cards as many believe, but did have a productive 2012 throwing for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was intercepted 14 times.
Many feel adding Palmer would be a step in the right direction to keeping pace with the front-running San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West who have, at least on paper, upgraded several key positions on both sides of the ball this off-season.
“This doesn’t make the Cardinals great,” Sando said to Cesmat. “But it sure makes them a lot better.”