ARIZONA CARDINALS

Fox Sports: Palmer, Jones among 10 players who can win MVP

Aug 9, 2016, 11:00 AM

(Photos by: Adam Green)...

(Photos by: Adam Green)

(Photos by: Adam Green)

Just as a fine wine gets better with age, so does Carson Palmer.

The Arizona Cardinals quarterback is coming off the best statistical season of his career, throwing for a career-best 35 touchdowns and 4,671 yards. Palmer led the Cardinals to a franchise-record 13 wins and a berth in the NFC Championship Game. While Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton won the NFL MVP award in a landslide with 48 of 50 possible votes, Palmer received one of the two remaining votes.

Heading into 2016, Fox Sports’ Brett Pollakoff took a look at 10 players who are most likely to contend for the MVP award this season and the 36-year-old was a candidate.

The Cardinals are once again expected to be one of the NFC’s top teams this year, and Carson Palmer is more than capable of producing MVP-caliber numbers. Last season, he finished fourth in the league in passing years with 4,671, his quarterback rating of 104.6 was good for third, and his 35 TD passes tied him for the league’s second-best.

With the emergence of running back David Johnson and the returning cast of Arizona’s offensive weapons, it’s not inconceivable to predict a similar season from Palmer.

Pollakoff also listed another Cardinal to keep an eye on throughout the season as a potential dark horse in the MVP race.

We told you we’d include a long-shot or two, and (Chandler) Jones has the longest odds of the bunch. But he was on pace to record 19 sacks through his first nine games with the Patriots last season, and his Cardinals teammates believe he’s in prime position to get 20 or more with his new team this season. If that happens, and the Cardinals end up finishing near the top of the league-wide standings, it isn’t crazy to believe that Jones could become the first defensive player to win the NFL MVP since Lawrence Taylor did so 30 years ago.

Taylor’s path to the award in 1986 saw him amass 20.5 sacks and have six multi-sack games. With head coach Bruce Arians and assistant coach Tom Pratt emphasizing that they’ve never seen a defensive line as deep as these Cardinals, Jones could have a golden opportunity to reach those types of numbers.

Pollakoff’s list also included Newton, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, Oakland’s Derek Carr, New England’s Tom Brady and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.

Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr. catches a pass during Cardinals rookie minicamp...

Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals sign Marvin Harrison Jr. to 4-year contract

The Cardinals signed rookie wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. to a four-year contract that includes a fifth-year option on Thursday.

15 minutes ago

BJ Ojulari at OTAs...

Tyler Drake

Growth of Arizona Cardinals’ BJ Ojulari, Garrett Williams on display at OTAs

Second-year pros BJ Ojulari and Garrett Williams could be competing for significant roles for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.

1 hour ago

Cardinals leadership and mental health awareness discussion...

Tyler Drake

Leading the right way: Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon host high school coaches for panel on uplifting athletes

A handful of Arizona Cardinals made time out of their day to discuss the value of the leadership with local high school coaches on Tuesday.

6 hours ago

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at L...

Character Counts

Kyler Murray makes championship match of charity chess tournament

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray doesn't mind some chess in his spare time and he elevated that hobby on Wednesday.

16 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Has Kyler Murray checked all the boxes as an elite NFL QB?

It's a big season for Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Burns & Gambo wonder if all the offseason work the QB's put in will help him take his game to the next level.

22 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Cardinals’ Sean Murphy-Bunting shares what it takes to be an NFL cornerback

Cardinals cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting joined Wolf & Luke during OTAs to talk about Arizona's cornerbacks room, what it takes to play the position in the NFL and recounts the first time he met head coach Jonathan Gannon.

23 hours ago

Fox Sports: Palmer, Jones among 10 players who can win MVP