The Arizona Cardinals will be drafting a quarterback next month when the 2017 NFL Draft commences in Philadelphia. Fans should be hopeful that when the teams first round picks rolls around, that the organization take a long hard look at securing the future sooner, rather than in later rounds.
Whomever, and whenever that player is selected, he’ll have some help day one.
Carson Palmer, the Cardinals incumbent and aging quarterback, is on record as saying he is willing to serve as a mentor to whomever Arizona fans as his replacement.
It’s a magnanimous gesture, and one that will be especially beneficial for the player, the fans, and the Arizona Cardinals future.
It’s also an indicator to the team that this is an opportunity to plan the transfer of responsibility in an orderly fashion. Something that many NFL teams aren’t able to do.
Taking a quarterback in the middle of the first round is often times the result of not having a quarterback on the roster with the pedigree of a Carson Palmer. When Green Bay drafted Aaron Rodgers, veteran starter Brett Favre wasn’t quick to embrace the role of “mentor” noting that it wasn’t his responsibility to get his replacement ready.
Fair or not, it isn’t.
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Clearly, the Arizona veteran sees it differently.
To his credit, Palmer is willing to embrace the role knowing that his time is growing short at the top of the Cardinals QB depth chart. It’s also an acknowledgment to Jon Kitna who extended him the same courtesy when the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him out of USC.
Carson is just paying it forward, and Arizona and their next would be starter are the beneficiary of such a professional outlook.
No knock on HOF’er Brett Favre as Aaron Rodgers is doing just fine, but in this day and age of “Generation Me” in the world of the professional athletes, Carson Palmer is a genuine breath of fresh air.
He’s also likely a pragmatist.
While the overwhelming number of professional athletes staying a season or two, too long, Palmer is willing to concede that the NFL road behind him is considerably longer than the one in front of him. He sees the clock ticking and instead of being the “hanger on” is willing to help the next guy up.
Call it “magnanimity” call it “paying it forward,” just don’t forget to call it a gracious gesture by a Sunday warrior knowing his best days are likely numbered.
The Arizona Cardinals will be better for it.
So will the signal caller that is “next guy up.”