TEMPE, Ariz. – Earlier this month, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said quarterback Carson Palmer will have a shot at the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he were to a win a Super Bowl, because of his stats.
And in one specific category, Palmer’s stats may soon be Hall of Fame-worthy by themselves.
Palmer will enter the 2017 season needing 15 touchdown passes to reach 300 for his career. Of those quarterbacks ahead of him on the NFL’s all-time list, every retired quarterback with the exception of Peyton Manning has been inducted to the Hall of Fame. And it’s all but a sure thing Manning will be inducted the first year he’s eligible.
And of those active quarterbacks ahead of Palmer, who’s currently 14th on the all-time list, it’s likely that Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers all could make the Hall of Fame after they retire. Of that group, only Rodgers doesn’t have 300 touchdown passes yet. He’s sitting on 297.
So, if and when Palmer reaches 300 – Palmer has thrown at least 15 touchdowns in every season he’s played more than 10 games – he’ll be in elite company. Hall of Fame company. The question then becomes, championship or not, does Palmer belong in Canton, Ohio, next to them because he’s on their level statistically?