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Palmer To Cardinals Official; Veteran Moves In As New Starting QB
As's Gregg Rosenthal framed it a short time ago: "Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians loves the long ball, the vertical passing game. That's why Kevin Kolb was cut, and that's why Carson Palmer is now in place as the team's new starting quarterback. ..."

This after the trade sending Palmer from the Oakland Raiders to Arizona is now official.

It’s the second time in less than two years the Cardinals have traded for a quarterback. But unlike the deal for Kolb in 2011, the trade for Palmer cost the Cardinals almost nothing, except money.

Arizona Republic staff writer Kent Somers pointed out that new general manager Steve Keim was adamant that he was not going to give up much for Palmer and he didn’t.

Palmer will make up to $20 million over the next two seasons. That's a pay cut from his Oakland contract, but not a huge one.'s Albert Breer reported $10 million of Palmer's contract is guaranteed while ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the deal is closer to $16 million and gives the Cardinals an out after the first year.

The Cardinals only have to give up a seventh-round pick and that's only if Palmer starts a certain number of games, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported.

The Raiders gave up a 2014 fifth-round pick on Monday for Matt Flynn just so they could dump Palmer and his big contract.

The contract indicates there won't really be a competition to start; Arians wants a clear starter. Palmer is the guy.'s Darren Urban pointed out that at the NFL owners meetings, Arians was asked repeatedly about his quarterback situation and who his starter would be.

Arians emphasized he had confidence in newly signed Drew Stanton and Stanton would be the starter, “Once we get the roster set, if that (QB meeting) room hasn’t changed, he’s our starter,” Arians said. And now, the room has changed.


And from a Fantasy perspective, I can think of much worse things than Palmer being the starter (yes, Stanton being the starter jump immediately to mind).

Despite all the protection issues in Oakland, a less-than-consistent rushing attack and an on-and-off receiving corps that struggled with injuries, Palmer threw for over 5,000 yards in his first 16 games as a Raider. The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2003 by Cincinnati, Palmer threw for 4,018 yards with 22 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and a passer rating of 85.3 in 2012.

So if you're Larry Fitzgerald -- or (as is much more likely) a Larry Fitzgerald owner, this is as good a development as you could have hoped for. It's not hard to argue that Palmer is far more capable of taking advantage of the star wideout's abilities than anybody who's been under center for the team since Kurt Warner's retirement.

Arizona now has four quarterbacks on the depth chart after cutting John Skelton on Monday.

Stanton is expected to be the backup. Brian Hoyer, who signed his restricted free agent tender offer of more than $2 million, is reportedly on the trading block. Hoyer’s deal is not guaranteed, so if the Cards ended up releasing him, it would cost them nothing in either actual cash or cap space.

According to Urban, the future of Ryan Lindley is equally muddled. He could potentially stay as a third QB, but the draft will impact that as well. Adding Palmer, 33, gives the Cardinals a lot more flexibility in the draft; if there were only one or two prospects they like coming out, they could afford to pass if one of those candidates isn’t available.

Meanwhile, as Rosenthal kindly suggested, the Cardinals have to improve their offensive line for Palmer to have any chance at success. The good news on that front, of course, is the team has the No. 8 overall pick in the draft in a tackle-rich crop.

And as Rosenthal summed up: "If it wasn't clear already: There's no way they are using their first-round pick on a quarterback now."