At quarterback, Carson Palmer’s health will be the key to stabilizing Arizona’s issues under center in 2015.
Palmer isn’t a great long-term option but still has two or three good years left, health permitting. Palmer’s rehab is reportedly on schedule and he expects to be back at 100% by the beginning of next season. That plan, however, is no guarantee as Palmer is entering the twilight of his career and has suffered significant damage on this same knee before.
Much like this year, the fate of the Cardinals offense will likely depend on the status of Palmer.
Assuming Palmer’s rehab goes as planned, Drew Stanton will return to a backup role and Logan Thomas will remain a developmental prospect. If his development doesn’t pan out during the offseason, Arizona could be in the market for another quarterback in next year’s draft but they’d rather not give up on Thomas, a fourth-round selection in the 2014 draft.
Ryan Lindley, who started the last three games for the Cardinals this year, will more than likely be looking for a role on a new team.
If Palmer isn't back healthy, Stanton would once gain be first in line to take over unless the aforementioned Thomas takes major strides during this offseason. Given that Arizona will likely have a good idea what Palmer's progress is heading into training camp, they could even add a newcomer via free agency.
Furthermore, if Palmer's rehab takes a turn for the worst prior to this year's NFL Draft, Steve Keim and company could even make a run at a quarterback in the draft.
Using a 2015 draft pick on another quarterback, however, is unlikely as Arizona is still high on Thomas.
You don't take a guy in the fourth round just to be a career backup. Picking a quarterback in the fourth round means you think there's a 50/50 shot that he could be a legit starter.
Many fans were discouraged by Thomas' progress when the Cardinals proceeded with Lindley after Stanton went down, and sure it looks bad, but I could see Arians just not wanting to jeopardize Thomas' confidence at this point. So all is not lost there.
Will Carson Palmer be ready in 2015?
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