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Carson Palmer nearly went to Tampa Bay, ESPN’s Schefter says

When the Arizona Cardinals take the field Sunday, they can be thankful that their starting quarterback isn’t donning their opponent’s uniform.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had their eye on then-Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer over the summer, and even had deep discussions with the Raiders to get the 33-year-old signal caller.

Tampa planned it out. It had extensive talks to try to get a trade done. A deal was within its grasp, so much so that the Buccaneers believed Palmer would be theirs.

And just when the Buccaneers thought they would land him, the Cardinals stepped in and made an offer the Raiders could not refuse. Arizona, not Tampa, got the trade done.

In the end, one of Palmer’s agents, Dave Dunn, helped steer his client to Arizona instead of Tampa Bay.

Arizona landed Palmer on April 2 while swapping draft picks with the Raiders and offering them a conditional 2014 pick. Palmer signed a new deal with the Cardinals.

Schefter said the Buccaneers were worried about the efficiency of quarterback Josh Freeman entering the season. Those concerns have already materialized, as they have gone with rookie Mike Glennon as the starter Sunday against Arizona.

How odd that in the very week in which Freeman was removed as the starter, the Buccaneers will be playing against the very quarterback they plotted to land in case this very scenario emerged. One way or another, Palmer always was going to be playing in Tampa in the fourth week of this season.

Entering Sunday’s game, Palmer has completed 57.9 percent of his passes for 762 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in three starts for Arizona.