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Cardinals rank 10th in ESPN’s quarterback confidence index

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a touchdown pass agianst the Seattle Seahawks in the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Coach Bruce Arians, general manager Steve Keim and the Arizona Cardinals don’t have to sweat much — at least not for another year.

ESPN writer Dan Graziano ranked each NFL team in terms of how good each should feel about their quarterback situation, with the Cardinals coming in 10th.

Graziano qualified that his list was not based on starting quarterbacks alone or career performance, but how well each team should feel about what they have heading into the offseason.

The Cardinals ranked as the last team of the second tier, called “Set, But For How Long?”

Carson Palmer is back, but he thought long and hard about retiring. Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said last August, “That’s all I think about,” when asked whether he ponders life after Palmer. That pondering should ramp up this offseason.

Palmer, 37, announced on Thursday that he would forgo retirement and return to the Cardinals for a fifth season. The Cardinals, with Drew Stanton as the backup and the 13th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, did not have a clear replacement for Palmer had he retired.

The former first overall pick is under contract with Arizona until 2018. He has a 35-17-1 record in Arizona with 14,804 yards, 96 touchdowns and 50 interceptions. Whether Palmer plans to remain beyond the coming season is unknown, but the Cards at least have stability at the position for another year.

Other teams in the same tier as Arizona included the New Orleans Saints, Pittsburgh Steelers, Los Angeles Chargers and New York Giants.

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