Nothing gold can stay.
After rewarding Carson Palmer with a three-year contract extension in 2014 and re-structuring his contract last offseason, Palmer has gone from one of the best bargains in the NFL to potentially overpaid and under productive. Through seven games, Palmer’s QBR is 51.2 — almost exactly average.
According to OvertheCap, Palmer is under contract for 2 more seasons after 2016 with cap numbers in excess of $20 million each year. Palmer is the 7th highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. As currently constructed, Palmer may not be able to lead the Cards far beyond a .500 record. There’s no “fixing” this Carson Palmer, because nothing is broken. This is the quarterback he’s always been, save for a small sample of games in 2014 and 2015.
What other, better options are available, though? It would be a shame to waste a year in the primes of Tyrann Mathieu, Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson to bottom out in the hope of drafting a quarterback. Perhaps Arians is confident that he could even out Jay Cutler.
If Palmer retires after this season, the Cards would have just under $7M in dead money on their salary cap for two years.
David Johnson, RB 151 yards from scrimmage will get you here every time. When Johnson first appeared here his rookie year, I said that he made these runs look easy. The decline of the offensive line has made these gains look so effortful.
Calais Campbell, DT The kind of defensive dominance we saw last night starts up front. Campbell was able to clog the middle gaps and collapse the pocket for four quarters.
Markus Golden, OLB Golden trailed off a little as the game wore on, but he was an absolute tone-setter early in the game. Golden needs to continue to develop his array of pass rush moves, but few Cardinals have a better bull rush.
Bruce Arians, HC David Johnson touched the ball 41 times last night and was on the field for 87 plays (92% of the offensive snaps). Johnson is the only thing working for the Cardinals offense, and he’s on pace for nearly 400 touches this year. Unacceptable.
Carson Palmer, QB Palmer junk-timed his way off this list last week, but he couldn’t make anything happen in this game. Palmer has been uncreative managing this offense and is making it more difficult for his receivers to make plays after the catch.
D.J. Humphries, OT Humphries requires so much help that Earl Watford has had to abandon blocking the middle of the line to help Humphries set the edge. The running game was productive exclusively running to the left last night. It’s unfortunate the Cards don’t have a backup plan for Humphries.