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Report: Larry Fitzgerald happy to have Carson Palmer

NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner revealed last month that Larry Fitzgerald still begs him once a week to come out of retirement.

Those recruitment calls will cease now that the Arizona Cardinals have upgraded to Carson Palmer at quarterback.

"He thinks this was the best option for the team to be competitive," a source close to Fitzgerald told SI.com's Peter King. "He's really happy."

Just how wide of a smile should Fitzgerald be wearing?

The Cardinals have had the worst quarterback situation in the league from Warner's retirement in 2010 through the 2012 season. The passing numbers are even uglier than the 18-30 (.375) record.

Post-Warner, Cardinals quarterbacks have completed just 54 percent of their passes at 6.2 yards per attempt with a nasty 42:63 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 65.7 rating.

Over that same span, Palmer has completed 61.3 percent of his passes at 7.3 yards per attempt with a 61:50 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a 83.1 rating.

As Around The League's Gregg Rosenthal already has pointed out, Palmer represents a clear upgrade over the dreck Cardinals fans are used to under center.


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Palmer shouldn't be viewed as the savior, though. While his conventional stats have remained fairly consistent, it's hard to escape the fact that his teams have gone just 12-28 (.300) over the past three seasons. His two seasons on the Raiders produced an 8-16 record while the quarterback he replaced, Jason Campbell, compiled an 11-7 record in his Raiders stint.

Win-loss records can be overly simplistic, to be sure. Palmer had no running game, got little help from his offensive line and was breaking in young wide receivers still learning how to run NFL routes.

Palmer's arm isn't close to what it once was, but it's still strong enough vertically to fit Bruce Arians' aggressive downfield attack.

So why isn't Palmer winning more games? At this point in his career, his skill set is suited toward garbage-time production when his lack of mobility and inability to throw outside the hash marks are masked by prevent defenses. Palmer simply doesn't enjoy much success when the passing windows are tighter and the rush is coming.

With Fitzgerald, 2012 first-round pick Michael Floyd and run-after-catch threats Andre Roberts and Rob Housler as weapons, the Cardinals' offense will engage in its fair share of shootouts this season. Just don't expect Palmer to reverse that win-loss record behind one of the most porous offensive lines in the NFL.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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