Palmer Agrees to career-ending Extension With Cardinals
GLENDALE, ARIZ. – Carson Palmer says there was no hesitation when he was approached by the Arizona Cardinals about a contract extension in what he calls “a dream situation” to finish his career.
The 36-year-old quarterback and nine-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald each agreed to one-year extensions last Friday.
“I’m so happy to finish my career here,” Palmer said, “and know this is where it ends.”
The deal, with $14 million guaranteed, puts Palmer under contract through the 2018 season. He will be 39 before that deal expires. Fitzgerald is under contract through 2017.
Palmer made his first comments on the extension Tuesday at his weekly training camp news conference. He said the Cardinals approached him about making some contractual changes to put the team in a better position on payroll in coming years. He was all for it.
“I’ve been playing my whole career,” Palmer said, “to be in a situation like this and play for an owner (Michael Bidwill) like this and a GM (Steve Keim) like this.”
Palmer is coming off probably his best NFL season, setting personal and franchise records in yards passing, touchdowns and quarterback rating while leading the team to a 13-3 record and the NFL West title. Palmer got his first playoff victory in the wild overtime win over Green Bay, but he and his teammates were awful in a one-sided loss at Carolina in the NFC championship game.
Palmer lavished praise on a Cardinals organization that a decade ago was considered one of the worst in the NFL. Now, with its state-of-the-art stadium, a coach bursting with personality and ability and a roster loaded with talent, Arizona is one of the preseason favourites.
“It’s a dream situation,” Palmer said, “having the opportunity to play for a head coach like Bruce (Arians) but also a play-caller like Bruce. Michael’s given everybody in the locker room everything you could possibly need to go out and just focus on football and play good football.”
Things were not always so cozy between Palmer and team ownership. The No. 1 overall draft pick out of USC in 2003, he forced a trade out of Cincinnati in 2011.
Then came two years of losing in Oakland before the Cardinals, with Arians just hired, acquired Palmer from the Raiders.
The team has won 10, 11 and 13 games in Palmer’s three seasons.
Palmer was asked if the extension extended his “window of opportunity.”
“I don’t see a window,” he said. “I thought last year’s team was really, really good until we started working on OTAs (this year), and then we got to training camp and you could see how much better this team is than last year. …
“I don’t see a window, I just see opportunity.”
Notes: Arians was unhappy with the mental errors and penalties the teams committed in practice Monday and blamed the team’s leaders. He said it’s the first time that’s happened this year all the way from OTAs through the early days of training camp. … Arians said Earl Watford, the backup all along the offensive line, missed practice Tuesday with a bruised knee.