A quarterback’s value

Posted by Darren Urban on October 18, 2011 – 11:44 am

The news the Raiders are about to trade for quarterback Carson Palmer is stunning in itself — I didn’t think the Bengals would let him go this season — but also speaks to the importance of the position and underscores how, in trades, overpaying for a QB is always possible and apparently necessary.

There were plenty of people who weren’t happy about the price paid for Kevin Kolb this offseason for the Cardinals, which was a second-round pick and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But Kolb is at five years younger than Palmer, and many are concerned Palmer’s arm injuries have zapped him of what once made his special. The price for that? At least a first- and a second-round pick, and if the Raiders win one playoff game — which would be good for a franchise that has been in the dumps, definitely — it becomes two first-round picks. That’s an amazingly high price.

If Palmer had future upside, it’d be one thing, but it seems limited.

Coming back to the Kolb question, however, it’s the price to play poker. The Raiders needed a QB badly after the collarbone injury to Jason Campbell, especially when it looks like the running game and defense can get Oakland to the postseason. The Cardinals, likewise, needed a quarterback in the worst way, so they pulled the trigger. Will Kolb — or Palmer, for that matter — work out? Some time is needed to truly evaluate that. Everyone had high expectations for Kolb right away, fair or not, and Palmer will be viewed under the same prism. But their most important qualification is simply the position they play, and what it means to an NFL team.

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55 Responses to “A quarterback’s value”

  1. By Jesse Robles on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Im only a fan, but if the Cardinals could run a 2 TE set like the Patriots, try to help out our horrible line, but still have extra hands to catch passes, we have good TE’s. Or what about the Defense not knowing if we are running or passing, because Beanie runs the best out of the 2 TE set, why not do this more? Why not get a bump on Levi Brown or Brandon Keiths guys with our TE to get Kolb an extra seond to get the ball out? Instead they defense knows when we are running and passing, heck I know when we are running and passing, and that is horrible!!! SCHEME, whatever helps win.

  2. By Kurt on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    If Palmer takes the Raiders to the playoffs – Raider nation will deem it well worth the price. Carson will prove to be the best raider QB since? Whow knows… They just need to figure out how to afford him

  3. By cards>niners on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with what you are saying, however, I was more concerned with the amount of guaranteed money the cardinals promised Kolb… I’m willing to give him a couple of years though.

  4. By Noel Ronquillo on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    This deal makes me feel that Palmer is a better Qb than Kolb. Even though I know we had a lockout and all but, this deal just makes me feel better because I think it ease’s off pressure on Kolb, due to the Raiders giving up 2 1st round picks

  5. By daniel on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    amen jesse robles.

  6. By Peter on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    With a wide receiver corp like the cards have, the double TE set would be less productive especially with Heap questionable… the spread formations are great for running the ball out of but the outside gaps could be better blocked… the cards would be better off throwing the tackles out to the wolves and try to create better players through adversity… that’s how the coaches can evaluate people… I think the route combinations could be more complex with demarco sampson back in the mix… beanie has gotten better in his protection… the cliché run the ball well, play action and so on will create opportunities on the outsides… if beanie can become a back that forces 8 in the box situations the pass game will be open for the taking… now the question of kolb’s experience with the system and the wr-wb relationship is called into question… at the end of the day its the team that limits the mistakes… the cards are more impressive than the record suggests… they just need to finish and hopefully grab at a record that can edge out the 49ers

  7. By drummer-1 on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    I love how fans know how too run this team better than anyone behind a computer..

  8. By Gilbert on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    U hit the nail Darren. I think kolb will work out. He just needs time to grow. But I guess because of the cards recent success we want to see instant gratification on that position More than anyone kolb understands that. Give him a break. He will make it.

  9. By Brendan on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    I think Kolb has been unfairly judged so far, our line hasnt helped him too much and we still make stupid errors that I saw pre-Whiz era. What is going on right now with guys showing up late? Are they fixing that or just letting the players run the team? Kolb pointed it out and I heard other stories about players not being early or on time.

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Brendan —

    RE: “Other stories”


  11. By nodavis2000 on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    I was shocked when I heard the trade was happening. I thought that the Bengal’s owner would never let Palmer go. I’m glad he did, for whatever the reason. I’m just shocked at the PRICE for him though. 1st and 2nd round picks for a Qb that might not even stay on the team for long term is questionable. What happens if they do win a playoff game, then next year Jason Campbell comes back and plays better??? Two FIRST ROUND picks out the door. And of course there’s Pryor who’s ALSO a QB with huge potential. He runs the 40 yd dash in … I think 4.38 secs. THEY might be overloadded in the QB, but Darren’s right, only time will tell…

  12. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Kolb will be just fine! He’s about to get hot!

  13. By APCARDS on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Darren,
    Do you think the Cards have any interest in Asante Samuel?

  14. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    APCards —

    RE: Samuel

    The trade deadline has passed. So no.

  15. By D on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Best deal the owner of the Bengals has ever done. Now, if he just has some college scouts, he could make those picks turn into something…great deal for Cincy…Palmer won’t help this year…

  16. By georgiebird on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Most of the people on this site were OK with the Kolb trade when made. The question here is not what was paid for Kolb or most recently, Palmer for that matter. The question is ” can the Cardinals “braintrust” pick out a productive QB”? If the Cardinals were in 1st place and had given up two number #1s for Kolb, everyone would be fine with it.
    Sure, the more Kolb plays the better he will get. In the same way, the more Bartel and Skelton would have played, in Kolb’s absence, the better they would have become. So, even if Kolb gets better, he’s a failure if he doesn’t produce at least a divisional winner. In my eyes, Kolb is no better than Skelton or Bartel.
    The Raiders acquisition is totally different than the Cards. The Raiders have produced on the field, then lost their QB, so they’re looking to keep the good season going. On the other hand, the Cards haven’t produced since Warner left.

  17. By jstn on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    once the game slows down for Kolb and he matures into a leader. There is no way hes the leader this soon as ive heard so far this season, there’s just no way. Its a nice thought but it will take a few seasons and many battles “won” to get him to be a real leader. I call out the leaders now on the team if there are any, coaches and players. I feel Dockett, Fitz and Wiz are the leaders and they are doing a horriable job at it, period!

  18. By Bill L on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    The Raiders MAY have paid for Palmer, just about the same the Cards paid for Kolb…….DRC was #16, If the Raiders make the Playoffs the 2011 Pick will be Lower and if they win a game the pick will be a lot lower…..I suspect their 2012 1st rounder will be no more than 8-10 off the Cards 2011 2nd rounder. IMO the Raiders trade makes more sense. They can compete for a Div/Conf/Super Title THIS year.

    Kolb not only needs time to learn this system and prove himself…… a Coach said about George Mira a long time ago……”Mira won’t complete many passes, FLAT ON HIS BACK”……..If the Cards don’t Invest in an O-line, Kolb and AZ fans are just wasting their time……and how long does an O-line need to Gel…….If AZ started NOW, replacing the entire line, with 1s and 2s….it will take 4+ YEARS before they are up to speed…….and Kolb might be ruined….. Start Over, with more BS?

  19. By Peter in Canada on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Cards>niners. You are right. It was the contract that has created the expectations and therefore the pressure. He is being paid Warner type money so the fan base expects Warner type results not a guy who is still a project. Warner was able to play behind a less than elite line because he was willing to take the hit in order to complete the pass down field. Remember the passes to Bruce and Proehl to beat Tampa and Tennessee. The rush has been coming mostly from the outside and Kolb has not been willing to step up to buy the extra second but gets happy feet.

  20. By BIG RED on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    I’m with you georgiebird, couldn’t have said any better. Get Rom…opps! I mean Kolb out the way. Skelton should be our leader plain and simple.

  21. By Big Red on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Why is it every year we complain about our O-line… Nothing changes..We get faneca one year..retires.. We got Colledge, but he is a guard.. We need tackles in the worst way.. DE are going nuts on us… J. Allen had a field day, NOT looking forward to seeing Kolb get mutilated by defenses in the near future. What good is a GREAT QB when he is getting thrown to the ground and hurried every other play?? Who were our tackles when warner was running the show?

  22. By Frustrated on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Hmmm. With the very recent death of Al Davis this really surprises me, the Raiders trading for Palmer.

  23. By cardfancolorado on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    hey we might still have a great chance at Vontaze Burfict

  24. By AZ Fan in WA on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    You are right, the ante seems high. Can the guy from Texas step up and hold-em for half a second longer? I feel like we are all in… hope our hand doesn’t suck.

  25. By azcardinalfan on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    al davis is in his tomb shaking his head

  26. By This Guy on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Cards pretty much paid the same price for Kolb as much as the Raiders are paying for Palmer. DRC= A First rounder & then the 2nd round pick. The sad part is that DRC IS a proven player. I had high hopes for Skelton to emerge this year.

  27. By azcards24 on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    i can’t believe i was sooooo excited all summer again for this……..

  28. By TucsonTim on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Martz finally figured out how to keep Cutler on his feet and MN looked way below average. Not the MN we saw vs AZ.

    Bidwill went all in for Kolb, and Whiz was good with these OTs and RBs (ie no Hightower), as Mr Bidwill said in his interview.

    Time to protect Mr Bidwill’s 60+ million dollar investment Whiz. I for one hope that if you do not figure out a protection scheme and a game plan that works to Kolbs strengths this week, that you get fired Sunday night.

  29. By weezy87 on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    i agree with u darren kolb will need time to gel…. but look i have watched this guy his whole career down here in texas and i can tell u that he has raw talent and a cannon but whiz look man you have to chill on the scheme i mean is it just me or does it seem sometimes that kevin just gets confused with some of the timing routes and the verbal part of the playcalling like it seems he misses the timing with our young wr’s roberts, sampson, housler…. those guys really should be putting in quality time with kevin so he can become accustomed with style of route running and breaks cause he has vary small chemistry with them and its quiet obvious to the naked eye….. i mean he has never been apart of a offense like this i know for a fact Uof H or “houston Univ.” didnt run this cause i went to atleast 15 of his games there live and the run and shoot seems more of what they prefer and always have so when u have that history of leaving the pocket for 12 years of your football career and in an offense designed for u to throw on the run and make your legs open your windows for your receivers like he did in reid offense as well its hard for him to stay in the pocket and take the necessary hit and deliver when you have taught otherwise your entire career he is fast though the guy can run like a deer but that just doesnt work when all your routes and going to your back shoulder and your scrambling to your right andre ware or kolb or keenum or any of these u of h qb’s or philly qb’s either make an offense schemed around kolb which i believe we should do mainly because he is our FRANCHISE QB or take our losses and hope he becomes comfortable…….. ps.. darren with sims-walker getting released is there anyway that we can pick him up

  30. By Matthew on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    Ok, someone tell me if im wrong or not. However i refuse to see the upside of our Kolb trade. Screw DRC never liked him anyway always slacked off and tried to rely on his talent alone, but back to Kolb. Now everyone is saying “give him time.” However lets look at Kolb in Philly shall we? He still played mediocre at Philly and he had 4 years in Philly to learn that system. Lets look at his first start against the Packers. Kolb sucked plain and simple. He was unable to start an offensive drive for his live. against the Titans he looked terrible, and his only 2 decent games were against the cowboys, and the falcons. How am i supposed to be psyched about the future when he had 4 years to learn phillys system and only produced a 3-4 record, and had 2 decent games in those 4 years? He wasnt benched because of his concussion. He was benched because michael vick outperformed him, and Andy Reid was sick and tired of his mediocre crap.

  31. By drummer-1 on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    @ Tucson Tim

    That was uncalled for to wish someone to get fired over a game, If the team is impacting your life that bad you need to stop watching them.. Wouldn’t it be ironic if you went to work tomorrow and got fired.. We can only hope u do..

    sorry darren that just got under my skin.

  32. By Mike Ellingboe on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply


    So, even if Kolb gets better, he’s a failure if he doesn’t produce at least a divisional winner. In my eyes, Kolb is no better than Skelton or Bartel.

    Can’t say I follow your reasoning there. Skelton and Bartel were behind DA on the depth chart last season, were you really comfortable with them being handed the keys to the car this season? Why would Kolb have to produce “at least” a division title to avoid the title of failure? What if develops the way Warner did (meaning we’d have to wait a few years for him to deliver a division title)? What if he follows the same path as Matt Schaub (decent the first few seasons before coming into his own)? What if the Niners end up winning a dozen games? Would he have to produce a better regular season record than Warner ever did?

    Please elaborate on what you mean.

  33. By Mike Ellingboe on Oct 18, 2011 | Reply

    @Big Red,

    Since you ask, Levi was the RT on that team and Mike Gandy was the LT.

  34. By Corgon on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I think Fitz already told us what is the problem. He said earlier: “We use the same plays that took us to the Super Bowl and ones that have been successful in the past.” This isn’t the same team. No Warner, No Q….you can’t run the same offense without those guys. The team really misses Warner’s experience. When he was on the game, he was an elite QB and that’s not replacable with anybody.
    This could be a good team. Kolb is a decent QB (and he’ll be better), he has good weapons, I think he only need a better playcalling. The cards need an other set cuz obviously this isn’t working. We paid a lot of money for Kolb… the confidence is given, then build the offense around him, use his skills, make him feel more comfortable….It’s so simple in my mind 🙂

  35. By Ham on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Kolb will turn it around for this club sometime this year. I put most the blame on the offensive play calling and lack of protection on the line. no matter what happens this year we still need to draft a monster Offensive lineman in next years draft. Things will get better!

  36. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Please use punctuation and paragraphs. I nearly passed out trying to read your long run out sentences. (And yes, I’m a proud member of the grammar police, graduate of Schoolhouse Rock! Academy circa 1975.)

    Darren, I recently read that Adrian Wilson is supporting a “voice out” of the media.
    Is this true and if so, why?
    And if Darnell Dockett participates, how long before his tongue starts slapping him?

  37. By Darren Urban on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Wilson

    I think that was only for a brief time last week.

  38. By Nate on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I have to agree that with Corgon about giving time so that Kolb can improve. The team forked over a lot of money this year and it would be a waste to bench him. I think it was Bartel who laughed a little about it in preseason. some reporter asked him if he expected to compete for Kolb’s spot, he said something along the lines of 20,000,000 may have something to to do with that. With two rookie corners, a fresh QB, weakness at OLB and pass rush this team is going to struggle this year. Its going to be tough to watch and hard to stick behind this team but im going to give them this year to develop before my frustration turns to BOOOs on Sunday.

  39. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry Darren – like the Cards, I’m usually one play behind.

    Question: If Carson Palmer has a great day next Sunday (without any previous knowledge of the Raiders scheme and granted he’s worked with Hue Jackson before) and Kolb struggles, will it be a fluke or an indictment of Kevin?

  40. By Darren Urban on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Palmer

    I’m not sure how Palmer plays would reflect one way or the other on Kolb’s play. As for a “fluke,” those are questions only answered down the road.

  41. By adam sheafe on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Kevin Kolb just came from a great system. You name me one quarterback that hasn’t succeeded in the Andy Reid system. Jeff Garcia did, A.J. Feely did, Donovan McNabb did, Kevin Kolb, Micheal Vick and even Koy Detmer did. GM’s do not do enough due diligience and research on the coaches that they have. If you have a coach that has a proven system in place, unlike the Cardinals offense, you can bring in almost any player with talent and teach him that system and he will succeed. Kurt Warner taught the players his own system of offense, coupled with Todd Haley’s style and thats why he succeeded with the Cards. Not because of Whiz. Whisenhunt has no identity and no idea of what he wants to be known for. It’s frustrating for the players too. One week we’re gonna commit to the run and the next week we want to pass. Stick to one thing and give your guys enough time to improve at that and COMMIT to it. Whiz deserves all of the blame because he’s the head coach. Kevin Kolb has just as good an arm as the best but his weaknesses were covered up in PHILLY ‘S OFFENSE because he played in a great system. That’s why wide receivers like Freddie Mitchell, Todd Pinkston and Kevin Curtis can excel in that offense. As soon as those guys leave they are no names. Need I say more?!!

  42. By Scott H on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    BIG RED –

    RE: Skelton should be our leader plain and simple

    And, again, maybe the reason he is not is because the HEAD COACH wasted too damn many games on Anderson last year instead of giving Skelton a chance to show what he could do. The stubborness of the HEAD COACH last year resulted in Skelton remaining a question mark and the organization not really knowing if he could be THE guy at QB. And that resulted in the perceived need for a QB and the eventual trade for Kevin Kolb. There ya have it. So, if you’re that un-happy with Kolb and think Skelton should be our QB, then blame the HEAD COACH. Because he is the guy who let you down. I wanted to see Skelton for most of the season last year but it never happened. I wish we had found out if Skelton could have been the guy.

  43. By Matt in Philly on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Eh…through 5 games last year, John Skelton was 2-3 to Kolb’s 1-4. I know there’s more to it than that, but winning’s winning.

  44. By Matt in Philly on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Corgan bring up an interesting point — that the Cardinals are running the same plays they ran on their way to a Super Bowl, but without the same personnel. Doesn’t that speak to a weakness in coaching??? A great coach runs his teams to exploit the strengths of his personnel. He doesn’t run his personnel to fit what he wants the team to do.

  45. By UC on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    @adam sheafe–

    Oh, Kenny has a system all right. Remember, he said it was “tough, smart, disciplined football”. But while we occasionally see the “tough”, the “disciplined” rarely rears it’s head, and what there ever was of the “smart” seems to have departed with Haley and Warner.

  46. By William barry on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, I agree. Kolb came at a steep price, but we needed a QB badly.

  47. By drummer-1 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    @ adam sheafe

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but Whiz system help get The steelers to the superbowl, How is Todd Haley’s style working in KC without Wiess.. Why didn’t Warner so call system work before Whiz got here? Yep it was all warner and Haley….You guys complain that Whiz throw to much,but then say he’s trying to be like the steelers who run alot, anything to try and discredit the coach.. I still say if his system doesn’t work how did we have the lead in 4 of the 5 games with 5min or less left in those only for the Defense to give it..Give it time to work, look at the Lions with their system the past 3 yrs 0-16, 4-12, now 5-1.. give time, it’s not like we’re getting blown out every game..

  48. By cards62 on Oct 19, 2011 | Reply

    I just wish our Cardinals would have made a move for Brandon Lloyd and an outside linebacker or two before the trade deadline.

    I have watched Carson Palmer play a lot over the years and he was the one I wanted for our Cardinals if the price was right. The Bengals would not trade him so I understand why the organization liked Kolb better. I think Palmer will impress people if not this year by next season with the Raiders. Someone said Andy Reid dumped Kolb. I do not agree and think Andy at times wishes he had him back this year with VIcks injury and the poor play of the backups.. VIck was hot and the Eagles were winning so Reid had to keep playing his hot hand last year.
    I do not know if Kolb is the answer, but I am glad the team made a move and brought a QB to our team. I do like the way Kolb handles himself. Like almost all of you I to am disappointed in our start.

    We are a young team so we should get better as the season continues. I predict the offense will get better, but I just think we have too many holes on defense this year. We do have young corners but the biggest problem is little to no pass rush from our 3 – 4 defense, and the safeties not helping out much in coverage. I just think we are wasting DD and CC, and if CC gets away to a 4 -3 team next year I think he will put up some very nice numbers. I do of course hope we resign CC.

    Go Cards beat the Steelers..

  49. By Louisville Card on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply


    I totally agree with you it wasn’t just Warner an Haley although the did contribute to us winning for two years. I also would love to have Haley back next year which could be a very real possibilty.

    @adam I don’t see how you think Warner had his own syatem? Do you think he was drawing up plays on the sidelines? He did get to audible out of plays but it was still plays out of Whiz’s playbook. You also say philly’s system is better than whiz’s but they both throw alot more than they run and have been to just as many superbowl’s. You also name alot of qb’s that other than Vick, Mcnabb and Garcia that never started more than 4 or 5 games. Back then they still had Jim Johnson as their DC and he won those games for those below average qb’s. Vick and Garcia had already been pro bowl qb’s so them excelling in Reid’s system isn’t saying much. It was Johnson’s system who made Philly the perpetual division winner’s not Reid’s.

  50. By TucsonTim on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply


    Thank you for making me laugh by referring to yourself as the royal “we”. If I performed as badly as Whiz has over the past 2 years, I would deserve to be fired.

    But I actually believe in performance and accountability. I hire good people to work for me and expect nothing less than excellence and despite a terrible economy I’m doing better than ever. I don’t worry at all about being fired. Do you?

  51. By Eric on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply

    I believe Kolb will be fine, if we build a line for him. The Brown/Keith combo is what is hurting him MOST. Being new to the system would be his second challenge. Now, the first can be easily fixed, but will the Cards do it? Man, I hope so, because Kolb is destine for injury if he keeps getting hit like he is.

    Now, on the other side of it, as I said from the moment the trade was even suggested, DRC was perhaps the most overrated player on this team. He couldn’t cover man, or tackle, and I mean he was one of the worst tacklers I’ve seen in a while. Seems like I was right, as he is a special teams player, and after yet another blown coverage against Hotlanta, he can barely find his way onto the field in a nickel package.

    By far, (depending on how the second pick turns out for Philly) we got the better end of the deal, so far. I am pleased with both Kolbs athletic and personal attributes, and he is improving, with an apparent unlimited upside, at a more important position. Now, if we could just get a defense…

  52. By adam sheafe on Oct 20, 2011 | Reply


    Whiz is too nice and the Cards organization is too cheap to keep the good talent. Bottom line. We’ll See how this all plays out. Give it time you say??? Ok. Last year was a horrible season. This year will be the same or worse. How much time do you want me to give to him. This is the NFL it’s a win NOW league. I am not given Whisenhunt anytime. You guys give Whisenhunt time while the 49ers and Seahawks just beat them. Everyone’s living in the past. I love it. The Cards have 2 good seasons and everyone thinks they are a good organization now. They are the same old Cards. Always have been. Always will be.

  53. By TucsonTim on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Cards62 –

    Why wouldn’t the Cards use a 6th or 5th for LLoyd? We used a 3rd on Roberts. Not that WR is our biggest problem, but if you knew Lloyd like you do today and he was coming out next year in the draft, wouldn’t you be willing to spend a 6th for him. What does Graves do all day? If you can explain it I’d love to hear it.

  54. By CORMAC on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    DARREN…. Just say, by some chance, we lost ALOT and could draft LUCK. Do you think we would be able to with KOLB on our team, or would it be too expensive?

  55. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    Cormac —

    RE: Luck

    I will be absolutely stunned if the Cards end up with the No. 1 pick. It’s not going to happen.

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