Carson Palmer is a 34-year-old quarterback coming off a season in which he threw for 4,274 yards and 24 touchdowns.
He was also intercepted 22 times and fumbled six times, but for the most part, he was a solid quarterback who gave the Arizona Cardinals a chance to win each week.
And win they did, finishing the season with a 10-6 record.
Though Palmer is a veteran who just finished his 10th NFL season, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians sees no reason to think the former number one pick is nearing the end of his career.
In fact, the coach believes Palmer has plenty of football left in him.
“He’s in great condition, he’s always in great condition,” Arians said from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Friday. “So I would think he could be playing up to 36, 37 easily.”
Palmer is still under contract with the Cardinals, and as of now there does not seem to be an heir apparent on the roster.
Of course, that could change in May’s draft — where the Cardinals select 20th in the first round — but from the way it sounds, Arians and the team don’t view quarterback as a big-time need.
And with how the offense fared last season, especially in the season’s second half, the coach has reason to believe big changes are not needed.
“I thought the last eight games we were real close,” Arians said of the offense being where he wanted it to be. “We were running the football much better, and it helped our offensive line so much. Our receivers and quarterbacks got on the same page. Third-down efficiency improved, red zone started to improve.
“So we were playing the way we want to play the second half of the season. I was extremely pleased with where we were offensively.”
The Cardinals finished the season ranked 12th in the NFL in total offense, with their 23.7 points per game placing them 16th. They scored at least 20 points in seven of their last eight games, and tallied 27 or more in six of their last nine.
As to the quarterback specifically, Palmer completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,361 yards and 14 touchdowns with just eight interceptions over the second half of the season, posting a QB rating of 95.3 over that stretch.
Was it simply a matter of him getting comfortable? That’s what the coaches seem to think, so assuming Palmer plays at least to the level he did last season and can remain healthy, the Cardinals may not need to find a new signal caller for a couple more seasons after this one.