If the Cardinals weren’t already thinking about life after Carson Palmer, the brief uncertainty about whether he’d return for the 2017 season likely forced the issue squarely onto their radar heading into the offseason.
They’re looking at the top prospects in this year’s draft and General Manager Steve Keim told us on PFT Live recently that Palmer is down with serving as a mentor to a rookie that they bring into the fold. Over the weekend, Palmer said that Jon Kitna played that role for him when he arrived in the NFL with the Bengals and that he feels he’ll be able to play it as well as Kitna did.
“Not to float my own boat, but I think I’m pretty good at it,” Palmer said, via ArizonaSports.com. “I know I’ve had many great mentors and role models and guys to look up to; guys I’ve learned a lot from so I know how to approach being that guy and I’ve been doing it for a long time.”
It’s easier to be a mentor when you’re not wondering if the younger player will be supplanting you in the lineup. Kitna didn’t have to worry about that with Palmer because he knew the first overall pick in the draft would be starting when ready and Palmer knows that whoever he mentors will be succeeding him rather than forcing him out of the lineup in Arizona.