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Bruce Arians: Carson Palmer might be a ring away from Hall of Fame

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Palmer a ring away from HOF? (1:38)

Louis Riddick says Carson Palmer must stay healthy and execute in the post season when it counts in order to be considered among HOF QBs. (1:38)

TEMPE, Ariz. -- From Bruce Arians' perspective, there's one thing -- albeit a big, bright, shiny thing -- standing between Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and the Pro Football Hall of Fame: a Super Bowl championship.

"Well, statistically, if you put a ring on his finger, he probably has a chance to be talked about for the Hall of Fame because of his statistics," Arians said, when asked how a championship would affect Palmer's candidacy for a spot in Canton.

Entering his 15th season, Palmer, 37, ranks among the top 14 all time in the four major passing categories, and could find himself either in the top 10 or near the top 10 by January. He'll enter the 2017 season ranked 14th in passing yards (44,269) and touchdown passes (285), and 13th in completions (3,777) and attempts (6,040).

But Palmer said Wednesday that he's not concerned with his stats, nor does he daydream about the Hall of Fame.

"Really haven't thought about that," he said. "I've thought about a championship a lot."

How often?

"Every day," Palmer said.

Though a Super Bowl might be constantly on Palmer's mind, his desire to hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy is not consuming his life. He won't let his legacy on the gridiron -- nor his potential failure to win a championship -- define him.

"It's not going to make me as a man," Palmer said. "I don't want to live the rest of my life on what I did playing football. I want to live the rest of my life on the type of man, husband, father, son, all those things.

"But there's no doubt that I would love to have a Super Bowl ring."

Thanks to plentiful rest during the offseason thus far, Palmer could be in line to turn in one of the best seasons of his career -- a feat which could potentially lead to that elusive ring.

He didn't throw this offseason until the final day of OTAs, and the respite appears to have paid off. Arians feels Palmer's arm is "stronger than ever," as was evident during Wednesday's minicamp when Palmer threw a couple of 55-yard passes and, according to his coach, "dropped them in the bucket." Palmer thinks his offseason downtime will give him a leg up during the second half of the season in particular.

"I think the benefit really comes in October, November, December, January," Palmer said. "Right now everybody feels fresh for the most part. I'm hoping to feel the advantage from that in late fall."

Palmer doesn't plan on changing his summer throwing regimen. This week's minicamp practices were a warm-up of sorts for his more strenuous offseason training. Palmer devotes this time of year to building his arm strength and endurance so he can throw for 2½-hour practices without taking any zip off his passes.

The more the Cardinals can conserve Palmer's arm, the higher their offense will soar in 2017; the unit will rely a great a deal on the veteran QB's passing abilities.

Palmer has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in four of the past five seasons. The only year he failed to reach the 4,000 yard mark was 2014, when an injured nerve in his throwing shoulder and an ACL injury cut his season short by 10 games. Even then, though, he was on pace to eclipse 4,300 yards through the air.

Despite Arizona's disappointing 7-8-1 mark in 2016, Palmer's last two seasons rank among the best back-to-back campaigns of his career. He passed for 61 touchdowns over that span, the most he has ever thrown over a two-year stretch when he played 15 or 16 games. He also accounted for just 25 interceptions, which ties his career low set in the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

As Palmer inches toward his 40s, he knows some facets of his game will suffer. But being 37 -- and turning 38 in December -- also comes with some perks. By giving him plenty of rest during the spring and summer months, the Cardinals hope their veteran QB will remain fresh and sharp throughout the entire season.

"It's a lot harder to play a defensive back position or a quick-twitch position -- running back position -- later on in your career," Palmer said. "I think it's easier to play the quarterback position later on in your career just because it's all about repetition. It's all about experience. There have been a handful of quarterbacks that have had success early in their careers.

"You just look at the history of the game. Guys can have success at that position into their 30s just because you rely so much on experience, so much on been-there, done-that-before situations."