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Bruce Arians: Carson Palmer was 'trade of the century'

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Has any quarterback inspired loftier trade reviews than Carson Palmer?

Immediately after cajoling the Cincinnati Bengals into parting with Palmer for first- and second-round draft picks in October of 2011, Hue Jackson -- then of the Oakland Raiders -- hailed the transaction as "the greatest trade in football."

Nearly four year after the Arizona Cardinals acquired the journeyman quarterback for the discount price of a sixth-round pick and a swap of seventh-round selections, coach Bruce Arians unfurled flowery praise in the direction of general manager Steve Keim.

"Oh God, that was the trade of century by Steve Keim," Arians said Wednesday, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com.

History will certainly look more kindly upon Keim's profitable dice roll than the boondoggle that sealed Jackson's fate in Oakland.

Palmer started 24 games over two years with the Raiders, generating an 8-16 record before being sold for pennies on the dollar.

He has been a godsend, on the other hand, to Arizona.

Since arriving in the desert, Palmer is tied with Tom Brady for the highest winning percentage (.750) among starting quarterbacks. During that span, he ranks fifth in passing yards per game (280.4) and eighth in passer rating (95.1), per NFL Research.

Even better, Palmer was an MVP finalist last season, leading the Cardinals to their most successful regular season in nearly seven decades.

Arians' quote might seem like hyperbole until we consider the salient point that Palmer has been a critical factor in the organization's long-awaited metamorphosis from league laughingstock to model NFL franchise.

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