On November 7, Carson Palmer signed a three-year, $50 million contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals.
Two days later, he tore his ACL against the St. Louis Rams.
Prior to that, he had completed 62.9 percent of his passes for 1,626 yards and 11 touchdowns with just three interceptions while leading the Cardinals to six wins in six starts, looking every bit the franchise-caliber quarterback the Cardinals needed.
The veteran is poised to return to the field in 2015, but until he does, and according to ESPN’s Mike Sando, in an Insider piece, that’s part of the reason his contract is the second-worst among passers earning at least $9 million annually.
Contract ranks: 14th APY, 17th true guarantee, 16th three-year AP
Three-year Total QBR: 52.6 (21st)
Palmer’s deal ranks this low from a team standpoint primarily because he is an older player coming off reconstructive knee surgery. Can he hold up? If he does, will he move well enough within the pocket to perform at a level high enough to justify his price?
The contract ranks listed are in relation to the other 17 quarterbacks on the list, where Palmer ranks 14th in
average per year, 17th in guaranteed money and 16th in a three-year average per year.
It’s fair to wonder if the Cardinals are overpaying Palmer, who is 35 years old, but at the same time anyone who watched the team suffer through the pre-Palmer, post-Warner days understands the kind of value the former Bengal and Raider brings.
And if that means spending a little more than some think, so be it.
Besides, it’s not like Palmer’s contract was the worst on the list, as that honor belongs to Chicago’s Jay Cutler.