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Carson Palmer Makes John Clayton's List of Elite Quarterbacks

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To say that Carson Palmer has lost his edge, perhaps losing his "elite" title, is a justified argument either side could make. Now, I'm not saying you should label him by such titles by any means. But when adjusting your opinion, thinking of the topic that we've touched on several times this offseason, you have to include several factors into your discussion. Such as being injured most of 2008, team focusing on a run-first offensive philosophy and the lack of help that Palmer had with receivers and tight ends in 2009. All of these things combined obviously hurt Palmer's status.

Before all of that started in 2008 (which includes said offensive transition in 2009), Palmer had just recorded 4,131 yards passing (personal best), completed 64.9% of his passes (second best in his career) and 373 completed passes (also a personal best). True, the 2007 squad passed the football more than they have during any other Carson Palmer season. After that, Palmer was hurt in 2008 and forced to hand the football off most of 2009.

If you want to say that Palmer lost his "elite" status, that's fine with me. If you're like me and would rather reserve judgment, that's fine with me too.

ESPN's John Clayton still thinks highly of Palmer, listing him as one of 14 elite quarterbacks in the league. I know, if you have 14 out of a possible 32 teams, elite tends to seem a bit overused, doesn't it?

Tom Brady, New England
Joe Flacco, Baltimore
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati
Philip Rivers, San Diego
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh
Matt Schaub, Houston
Drew Brees, New Orleans
Brett Favre, Minnesota
Donovan McNabb, Washington
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay
Tony Romo, Dallas
Matt Ryan, Atlanta