The entire NFC West was under .500 back in 2010, the most embarrassing moment after nearly a decade of being the NFL's worst division.
This being the NFL, it hasn't taken long to go from worst to first. The NFC West isn't just the best division in football now; it's the most interesting. This offseason has only cemented that.
Tuesday's acquisition of Carson Palmer by the Arizona Cardinals isn't going to save the franchise, but it adds a much-needed shot of competency to the most important position on the field. Arians probably convinced Palmer that the Cardinals aren't as far away from contending as you'd think. They have Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts and last year's first-round draft pick at wide receiver in Michael Floyd. Tight end Rob Housler is an underrated talent.
The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ersseemingly have been in an arms race. (The latest move: The 49ers picked up their backup quarterback in Colt McCoy and agreed to a deal with Nnamdi Asomugha. The Seahawks started shopping for their backup quarterback after trading Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders.)
The St. Louis Rams lost just one game in the division last year (and eight overall) before adding big-ticket offensive tackle Jake Long this offseason. The division was off the radar for so long with no identity, but the identity is clear now: Young quarterbacks (other than Palmer) and frightening defenses.
As projected last-place teams go, the Cardinals will be dangerous. They are more dangerous with Palmer. The move was just another continuation of one of this offseason's biggest themes: The NFC West suddenly is the most fascinating division in football.