Carson Palmer in an NFC West context

The thought of Carson Palmer potentially joining the Arizona Cardinals by trade -- just a thought, as no deal has been completed -- begs for a quick statistical snapshot.

The chart shows the 2012 regular-season production for Palmer and established NFC West starters Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson and Sam Bradford.

Palmer lagged far behind Kaepernick and Wilson in particular. That is only a secondary point in this discussion, however. The Cardinals are looking to upgrade their quarterback situation by any means. Palmer, who topped 4,000 yards with 22 touchdown passes for Oakland last season, would upgrade the position from where it stood with John Skelton and Ryan Lindley, who combined for two touchdowns and 15 interceptions as starters in 2012.

Palmer ranks atop the list of quarterbacks available to Arizona this offseason. His addition would give the team flexibility in the draft. Drew Stanton would become the backup. Brian Hoyer, who signed for $2 million in guaranteed salary, could become expendable if the Cardinals decided to go with two quarterbacks or draft a lower-cost No. 3.

2012 QB Stats for Known NFC West Starters and Carson Palmer