In a sad letter to the public on January 2nd, Carson Palmer retired.

Carson Palmer’s retirement marks an end of an era in Arizona football and college football with arguably the best USC quarterback hanging up his cleats.

Still in disbelief that Mr. Palmer is the best? Here are some names from the same university that shouldn’t ring a bell: John David Booty, Matt Leinart, and Mr. GQ himself, Mark ‘Butt Fumble’ Sanchez. 

Above Average?

In 2002, 2-14 Cincinnati Bengals were the Browns of their era and with this distinction comes the dubious honor of owning the first pick in the 2003 draft. They choose Heisman winner Carson Palmer, and they sat Carson for Jon Kitna giving him a year to learn their playbook.

Palmer strolled into a great situation, with Chad Johnson and T.J. “Who’s Ya Mama” Houshmandzadeh and Rudi Johnson as his weapons.

Carson Palmer’s 2005 season was bittersweet. He led the Cincinnati Bengals to an AFC North Title, ending a 15-year drought. However, in the first play of the AFC Playoffs against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Palmer tore his ACL after a defensive lineman took his legs out after the pass.The Bengals feared Carson’s career might have ended that day. His knee was reconstructed with a donated Achilles tendon.

Faster, Stronger, Blander?

Palmer’s tenure with Cincinnati was fairly run of the mill and in 2010 he requested a trade. Owner Mike Brown turned down his request, and put in the fiery QB Andy Dalton.

CarsonPalmer did not report to Bengals training camp in 2011 and he was subsequently sent to the Oakland Raiders, replacing an injured Jason Campbell. He spent two seasons in black-and-silver, leading them to 14-7 record as the starter.

Donned the Red

Another trade in 2013 sent Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals under football genius Bruce Arians.

Carson Palmer had a renaissance in the desert, with All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald and a young defense in progress, leading the Cards to a 10-6 season.

A stacked AFC West left them in 3rd place behind the Seahawks and 49ers. In 2014, Palmer re-tore his ACL, leading to a much quieter couple of years, despite having his contract extended

Palmer’s presence will be missed as he was a quality athlete and a good sport. Is he Canton Bound? Probably not. Does he have a spot in the Ring of Honor? You can bet on it.