2. Carson Palmer
Fans have soured on Palmer recently due to his rude comments about the organization but there’s no denying how successful he was in the black and orange stripes. Palmer threw for 22,694 yards, 154 touchdowns, and 100 interceptions and took a team that hadn’t been good and made them more competitive by his second year as a starter.
Unfortunately, the team didn’t win either of Palmer’s starts and things got rocky near the end of his tenure. He demanded a trade and was sent to the Raiders, which paved the way for Dalton to start in 2011 and onwards.
Putting Palmer at No. 2 could be an unpopular opinion due to recency bias and the shots he’s taken at the organization but how different would things be now had he not gotten injured in that ’05 playoff game? Does the team break their playoff curse that year if Palmer doesn’t get hurt? He’s a big “what if” candidate for sure.