Following a disappointing 7-8-1 season for the Arizona Cardinals, there were questions raised about whether or not Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald would return to the team for 2017. Last week, Fitzgerald confirmed that he’ll be back for his 14th season with the only franchise he’s ever played for, and on Thursday, Palmer announced that he’ll be at the helm of the Cardinals offense for his fifth season.
“My intent was to take some time after the season to get away and see where I was physically and mentally," Palmer said (via the Arizona Cardinals team website). "On both fronts, I can say I’m ready to get back to work and prepare for the 2017 season. This is a phenomenal group with a very special opportunity in front of it. I know how rare that is and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”
Palmer’s $15.5 million salary will be fully guaranteed on Friday, while Fitzgerald’s $11 million salary is not. Next season will be the final year of Fitzgerald’s contract, whereas Palmer is signed through 2018.
This news obviously takes Arizona out of any Tyrod Taylor or Tony Romo speculation. The 37-year-old Palmer threw for 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 2016, but was also sacked 40 times, which is the most he’s taken since his first year with the Cards, when he was dropped 41 times. He fumbled a whopping 14 times and lost a career-high 6 of them. Palmer also attempted a career-high 597 passes, and that’s with missing a start against the 49ers due to a concussion. Did I also mention that Palmer is 37 years old? Yes, yes I did, and I think I should bring that up again.
At least this gives the Seahawks a chance to take that goose egg off the board when Palmer returns to play Seattle next season, as the team is 0-3 at CenturyLink Field against Arizona with Palmer starting. In fact, I’m 99.9% sure that Palmer is the only opposing starting QB with three wins in the history of CenturyLink Field, which is just mindblowing to me.
Anyway, Arizona has retained the services of its starting quarterback and its star wide receiver for one more year. Next up is figuring out which key players they’ll re-sign in free agency, and they certainly have more than a few big names on this list.