ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN: Former Cardinals QB Carson Palmer has iffy Hall of Fame resume

Aug 3, 2018, 6:02 AM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) leaves the field injured during the first half of a...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) leaves the field injured during the first half of an NFL football game against Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium in London, Sunday Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer just finished a long and successful NFL career.

Palmer played 16 seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals (2004-10), Oakland Raiders (2011-12) and Cardinals (2013-17). As a former No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft, Palmer put together a successful career with Hall of Fame potential.

But, A panel of ESPN football writers determined the Hall of Fame credentials of Palmer were not enough. While Palmer was an extremely efficient passer, his win-loss record of 92-88-1 hurts his case as none on the panel voted for him on the mock ballot.

Unfortunately for Palmer, he played in a golden age of NFL quarterbacks. His career overlapped with at least six other Hall of Fame passers — two already in and four waiting or still playing. He was an efficient and effective passer, but this isn’t the Hall of Efficiency. Palmer’s teams had just four winning seasons in that span, and he played in only four playoff games, notching one win and one torn ACL. It’s regrettable to say for such a reliable player, but this was an easy vote for our committee.

The panel consisted of Pro Football Hall of Fame voters Mike Sando and Jeff Legwold, ESPN NFL writers Mina Kimes and Dan Graziano and ESPN analytics writer Brian Burke.

The panel only considered players that weren’t locks for the Hall of Fame, including linebacker Terrell Suggs and quarterback Eli Manning. The group also didn’t note whether a player would make it in their first year of eligibility, or would need to wait a few ballots to be selected.

Palmer dealt with injuries throughout his career, including two ACL tears and multiple shoulder and elbow injuries in his right arm. His struggles to stay on the field don’t fair favorably compared to other quarterbacks including Philip Rivers and Manning, who rarely missed games.

A strong critique of Palmer was the win-loss record of his teams throughout his career. Palmer found little success prior to Arizona, where he was a part of winning teams during his first three seasons in the desert, including his first career postseason win over the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 Divisional round.

During Palmer’s time with the Bengals and the Raiders, he combined for two playoff appearances, as both franchises battled dysfunction as well as possessing marginally talented roster.

While critics can point to Palmer’s flaws, he did post some impressive statistics that rank among the top 20 quarterbacks to have ever played in the NFL.

Palmer finished his career with a 62.5 percent completion percentage, 46,247 passing yards and 294 touchdown passes in 182 games played. According to Pro Football Reference, Palmer ranks No. 11 in NFL history for completed passes, No. 12 in passing yards and touchdowns and No. 19 for career passer rating.

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