TEMPE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer had everything anybody would want from a quarterback.
He was tall, big, strong-armed, cerebral, poised and tough. He even looked the part. He was the definition of "California cool," as former Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians would put it.
But Palmer's career, which ended Tuesday when he announced his retirement after 15 seasons with three teams, missed one -- quite significant -- accomplishment. And it'll likely cost him a shot at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He never played in a Super Bowl. And that means Palmer retired without a ring.
With his numbers, that could easily be the difference between him wearing a gold jacket in 2022 and not.
Palmer finished his career with 46,247 yards and 294 touchdowns -- both ranked 12th all time in their respective categories. He threw the second-most touchdowns by a quarterback to never start in a Super Bowl, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He has a career completion percentage of 62.5. Every former player with more, other than Peyton Manning -- who's expected to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer -- is already in the Hall. And the five active quarterbacks ahead of him -- No. 3 Drew Brees, No. 4 Tom Brady, No. 6 Eli Manning, No. 8 Ben Roethlisberger and No. 9 Philip Rivers -- all might end up in Canton, Ohio, at some point.
A title, maybe two, would've given Palmer the résumé necessary to make the Hall.
If there was a comparison needed to prove it, just look at last year, when Kurt Warner was inducted with 13,903 fewer yards and 86 fewer touchdowns in four fewer seasons. But here's the difference: Warner won a Super Bowl and played in two others, and was named MVP twice.
He had the accolades and the Super Bowls on top of the numbers -- Palmer just has the numbers.
But some of his numbers are good. Very good.
He's one of four quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 100 touchdowns passes for two different teams, which he accomplished with the Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The other three were Manning, Warner and Fran Tarkenton -- two Hall of Famers and a surefire inductee.
Palmer got better as he got older.
He turned in his best season at age 36, when he threw for a career-high 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Over his five seasons with the Cardinals, Palmer's teammates regularly talked about how he was a natural leader, how he'd lift with the offensive linemen, how he'd try to outwork everyone else in the weight room, how he'd be the first one in and last one out. It wasn't rare to hear that Palmer was everyone's favorite teammate.
Arians talked multiple times over the years about how Palmer could make every throw.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who was Palmer's coach at USC, said Palmer was "about as perfect as a quarterback could be in terms of his size and strength and ability and knack and competitiveness."
And now one of the most "perfect" quarterbacks in NFL history has retired, without a Super Bowl, without a ring, and likely without a gold jacket.