Carson Palmer

This Date In Transactions History: Cardinals Trade For Carson Palmer

In the years between Kurt Warner‘s retirement and Bruce Arians‘ 2013 Arizona arrival, the Cardinals experienced persistent issues at quarterback. A few months into Arians’ tenure, the franchise made a move to stabilize that position. 

Nine years ago today, the Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer from the Raiders. In the second Palmer trade in less than two years, the Raiders were not able to fetch what the Bengals did in 2011. On April 2, 2013, the Cards sent a 2013 sixth-round pick and a conditional seventh-rounder in 2014 for Palmer. Arizona immediately extended the then-33-year-old passer, signing him for two years and $16MM. That would not be the last Cardinals contract Palmer signed.

Palmer spent eight seasons with the Bengals, essentially redshirting as a rookie before starting from 2004-10. However, the former Heisman winner grew impatient with the Bengals’ conservative offseasons and staged a brief retirement that lasted well into the 2011 season. The Raiders ended the Palmer-Bengals stalemate by sending a 2012 first-round pick and a 2013 second-rounder to Cincinnati in October 2011. Those picks became Dre Kirkpatrick and Giovani Bernard. While Palmer mostly stayed healthy in Oakland, the Raiders went just 8-16 during the Pro Bowler’s starts in silver and black.

The USC product threw for 4,018 yards, with 22 touchdown passes compared to 14 interceptions in 2012, but went 4-11 as a starter that season. Oakland parted ways with Hue Jackson, their head coach in 2011, and hired Dennis Allen in 2012. The Raiders made an unusual pivot in 2013, using Terrelle Pryor as their primary starting QB — with Matt McGloin mixing in — but acquired Derek Carr in the 2014 second round. Interestingly, the conditional seventh-round pick the Raiders acquired in the Palmer deal turned into defensive lineman Shelby Harris, who played eight games in Oakland before catching on as a regular in Denver.

The Cardinals, who went 5-11 in 2012 and had used John Skelton as their primary post-Warner QB, improved immediately. Palmer started 16 games and guided Arizona to a 10-6 record in 2013. He went 6-0 as Arizona’s starter in 2014, but the second ACL tear of his career harpooned a talented Cardinals squad — one that also lost backup Drew Stanton and ended up starting Ryan Lindley in its wild-card playoff outing. In 2015, Palmer rebounded and finished second in the MVP voting. The then-35-year-old quarterback threw a Cards-record 35 touchdown passes and led the NFL with 8.7 yards per attempt, guiding the team to a 13-3 record and an overtime playoff victory over the Packers.

Injuries ended up limiting Palmer again in 2017, and he retired shortly after that season. This came after Palmer signed a three-year, $49.5MM contract — in 2014, days before his second ACL tear as a pro — and a one-year, $24.4MM extension in 2016. While the Cardinals traded up for Josh Rosen months after Palmer’s exit, they reversed course a year later and drafted Kyler Murray first overall.

This Date In Transactions History: Cardinals QB Carson Palmer Signs Extension, Tears ACL

In one of the more unfortunate post-extension-signing performances in NFL history (we’re assuming, considering the specificity of that statement), Carson Palmer tore his ACL shortly after inking an extension six years ago. We know, we know…Palmer officially inked his new deal on November 7th, and he subsequently suffered the injury on November 9th. However, on November 10th, 2014, we learned of the quarterback’s official diagnosis (head coach Bruce Arians also acknowledged that Palmer was heading to the IR) and (in a cruel twist) the full details of the extension. So, for the sake of this series, we’ll say this qualifies.

The story really begins in 2013. Following a three-year stint with the Bengals and Raiders that saw him go 12-27, Palmer was traded to the Cardinals for a few late-round picks. The former first-overall pick overcome a tough start to the season and finished the campaign with a 7-2 record in his final nine contests. In total, Palmer completed 63.3-percent of his passes for 4,274 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Palmer looked like a potential MVP candidate during the early part of the 2014 season. He threw for 11 touchdowns vs. only three interceptions and won each of his six games as a starter, and that proved to be enough to warrant an extension from the Cardinals front office. So, on November 7th, 2014, Palmer inked a lucrative three-year, $49.5MM deal, including a bit more than $20M in guaranteed money.

You probably already know what happens next. A few days after inking his extension, Palmer suffered an ACL tear in a win over the Rams. With Drew Stanton inserted into the lineup, the Cardinals went 3-4 the rest of the way, and they lost to the Panthers in the first round of the playoffs.

Fortunately, the story has a somewhat happy ending. Palmer returned to appear in all 16 games in 2015, earning his first Pro Bowl nod in nine years and finishing tied for second (with Tom Brady, behind Cam Newton) in MVP voting. The veteran also set career-highs in passing yards (4,671) and touchdown passes (35) while leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 record. Palmer ended up having a brutal game in an NFC Championship loss that postseason, but it was still a remarkable comeback for the quarterback.

Palmer spent two more seasons with Arizona before hanging up his cleats in 2018. Ultimately, this proved to be a solid ending to a story that got temporarily sidetracked six years ago today.

NFC Notes: Cardinals, Giants, Fangio, Vikings

David Johnson is doing his part to keep the Cardinals‘ offense together. Since he was last on the field, Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer retired. And Larry Fitzgerald isn’t certain to come back for a 15th season. Johnson, though, tried to coax Palmer into a 16th slate — one for which he was under contract.

I think Carson’s done,” Johnson said on the Pro Football Talk PM Podcast (via PFT’s Mike Florio). “I’ve talked to him. I was trying to get him to come back just because he was another person who was very impactful not just on the field but also off the field. I was trying to recruit him to come back but I think his mindset is [to retire] — and I definitely understand where he’s coming from.”

Johnson was more bullish on Fitzgerald’s chances of coming back following another 100-reception, 1,000-yard campaign.

Larry is going to come back,” Johnson said, via Darren Urban of “He’s still playing at a high level.”

Johnson told Florio he hopes the team and his representation can begin negotiations on a new contract but added he remains focused on his rehab process.

Here’s the latest from the NFC:

  • Vic Fangio‘s new Bears contract is a three-year agreement, Jeff Dickerson of reports. The veteran DC said he had “a lot” of options but chose to stay in Chicago because he’s confident in Matt Nagy‘s direction for the team. Fangio said he won’t be gaining more defensive responsibility under Nagy than he had under the defensive-oriented John Fox, per Dickerson, because Fox gave him full autonomy to run the Bears’ defense.
  • Eli Manning and Dave Gettleman met recently, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. While the new Giants GM described this as a “great conversation,” he added “I don’t want to go there” when asked about if the parties reached any closure about Manning’s status following the summit. Schwartz adds the Giants are “very likely” to select their quarterback of the future with the No. 2 overall pick.
  • The Giants are still likely to reach out to Patriots OC Josh McDaniels on Monday to see if he’s committed to becoming the Colts‘ HC as has been reported, Ralph Vacchiano of reports. A source told Vacchiano that McDaniels would be the favorite if all of their finalists wanted the job, although Vacchiano reports a Giants source also described this year’s HC candidate pool as “uninspiring.” Pat Shurmur remains in line to become Big Blue’s next HC.
  • While it still sounds like Joe Berger has a maximum of two NFL games left, the Vikings guard (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press) said he won’t decide until March or April if he’s done after this season or not. Berger said before the season he was likely to retire after 2017 and added one of the reasons he decided to come back was Mike Remmers‘ addition. “My thought is that this is it, but I’m not going to try to make that decision now in the middle of all this,” Berger said. Pro Football Focus graded the 35-year-old blocker as the No. 15 NFL guard this season.
  • Conversely, the Vikings winning a Super Bowl would not seem to dissuade Terence Newman from coming back for a 16th season and what would be his age-40 campaign. Newman said he’s optimistic he can remain an impact player in 2018, were he to decide to come back. “Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking, that I was able to (win a Super Bowl), then why not try to get two?’’ Newman said, via Tomasson. “You can look at it at both sides.” PFF graded Newman as a middle-of-the-pack corner this season. Newman’s playing on a one-year contract.

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer Retires

Carson Palmer is calling it a career. One day after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement, Palmer has done the same. Carson Palmer

Over the years, I’ve had teammates who decided to hang it up and I would ask them how they knew when it was time to walk away,” Palmer wrote on social media. “The answer was almost always the same: You just know. For me that time is now. Why? Quite simply, I just know.”

Palmer, who turned 38 at the end of December, had one more year to go on his contract but instead decided to hang ’em up. After 14 years in the NFL, multiple serious knee injuries, and tons of grueling battles, few can blame Palmer for walking away. The 2017 campaign wasn’t the sendoff he was hoping for – a broken arm ended his season in October – but he leaves the game with plenty of accomplishments and roughly $175MM in career earnings.

Palmer is third in franchise history with 38 wins as the Cardinals’ starting QB, an impressive feat considering all of the time he missed in 2014 and 2016. He also ranks high in major statistical categories for QBs including passing yards (11th), touchdown passes (11th), and completions (10th).

The retirement of Palmer leaves the Cardinals without QBs under contract for next season with Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton, and Matt Barkley all scheduled for free agency. Arians indicated that Gabbert could be the team’s successor to Palmer, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him re-signed before he hits the open market in March. Then again, the team’s next head coach could alter the team’s plans. There will be a handful of interesting signal callers in free agency and the Cards also have the No. 15 overall pick at their disposal.

The retirement of Arians and Palmer may lead Larry Fitzgerald to a similar choice. The wide receiver is said to be leaning towards ending his playing career even after a strong 2017 campaign. Despite being the league’s oldest wide receiver, Fitzgerald hauled in a career-high 109 passes with 1,156 receiving yards and six scores.

Larry Fitzgerald Leaning Toward Retiring?

The NFL’s third-leading all-time receiver, Larry Fitzgerald may be ready to step away from the game after what was his 14th season.

Bruce Arians‘ retirement could have an impact on how Fitzgerald proceeds, with’s Ian Rapoport reporting (via Twitter) some of those close to the star pass-catcher do not believe he will want to come back and play in a new offense.

Fitzgerald thrived in Arians’ attack, posting three straight 100-plus-reception seasons from 2015-17. Despite being the league’s oldest wideout, Fitzgerald caught a career-high 109 passes this season and recorded 1,156 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He booked three more Pro Bowls in this span.

Carson Palmer is uncertain to return as well, and Rapoport reports the 38-year-old quarterback is an even longer shot to come back for what would be his 16th NFL season. Palmer and Fitzgerald played together for five years in Arizona, but the quarterback encountered more injury trouble this past season. And Arians having played a key role in rejuvenating Palmer’s career, the former No. 1 overall pick could be inclined to walk away instead of playing the final year of his most recent contract.

Both Fitzgerald and Palmer are signed through 2018.

Carson Palmer Not Ruling Out 2017 Return

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said his rehab from a broken left arm is on schedule and he is trying to make a return to the field before the end of the season, Kent Somers of tweetsCarson Palmer (vertical)

The veteran signal-caller suffered the injury in Arizona’s 33-0 loss to the Rams in Week 7 and was placed on injured reserve. Should he make a return, Palmer would need to practice two weeks before being activated. Though he is hoping to return this season, Palmer did add he was making no assurances.

With the Cardinals a long shot in the NFC wildcard hunt at 5-6, the team would likely want to rattle off a couple of wins before thinking about sending Palmer back out. A win vs. the Rams in Week 13, however, would close the gap in the NFC West to two games.

Palmer was playing well before the injury, throwing for 1,978 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games and would be a welcome addition to a team looking to get hot down the stretch.

Cardinals’ Johnson, Palmer Done For Season

The Cardinals were hoping to get at least one of David Johnson or Carson Palmer back before the end of the season. On Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians announced that a return to action is unlikely for both players. In fact, no one on Arizona’s IR has progressed all that much in rehab, Arians says, and that group includes rookie running back T.J. Logan."<strong

At 4-6, the Cardinals’ odds of making the playoffs are not all that strong, but it will be even tougher to sneak in without two of their most important offensive players. The odds calculator at Football Outsiders gives the Cardinals just a 0.4% chance of reaching the postseason.

Johnson was among the league’s best offensive players last year with more than 2,100 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns. The Cardinals swung a surprising trade for Adrian Peterson before the deadline, but the veteran has not been able to replicate his production.

Recently, Palmer expressed optimism that he could return at the very end of the season.

I could potentially be available the last two weeks of the season,” Palmer said earlier this month. “Who knows? I don’t know where I’ll be (with rehab) at that point. I don’t know where we will be as a team at that point. I just try to be as ready as I can as quick as I can.”

The 37-year-old (38 in December) will probably weigh retirement this offseason. If he does decide to play, there is a contract in place for 2018.

QB Rumors: Luck, Browns, Cardinals

Now on IR, Andrew Luck ventured outside the United States for possible medical solutions for his troublesome throwing shoulder. The Colts quarterback trekked to Europe to consider treatment options, Mike Wells and Chris Mortensen of report. Peyton Manning was among the athletes who have traveled to Europe for non-traditional procedures, with Kobe Bryant doing so as well. Wells and Mortensen didn’t yet report any procedure has been done on Luck overseas, but this is an indication the passer may not be satisfied with his options in this country. Luck has consulted with several doctors this season and was given a cortisone shot last month prior to the Colts placing him on IR. The 28-year-old franchise cornerstone has dealt with shoulder pain since September 2015.

The Colts are working under the impression Luck will be ready for the 2018 season, but he’s not a lock to show for OTAs and Mortensen reported recently the team isn’t ignoring the 2018 rookie class of signal-callers. Ian Rapoport of recently reported the four doctors with whom Luck has spoken have told him to not throw for two-to-three months. Luck is signed through 2021, but at 10 months removed from shoulder surgery, the former No. 1 pick is off track and without a timetable.

Here’s the latest on various quarterback situations from around the league.

  • Speaking of the 2018 quarterback crop, Terry Pluto of reports the Browns “absolutely” intend to draft a passer in the first round next year. Cleveland could well possess two top-10 picks, but Pluto notes the caveat here is this plan is contingent on this front office being retained after what’s looking like another miserable season. A quarterback selection would be an interesting development since the Browns passed on Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson the past two years. But the team was higher on Jared Goff in 2016, and executive VP Sashi Brown admitted to some degree the team missed on Wentz — whom the franchise’s new regime infamously said was not viewed internally as a potential top-20 quarterback. A recent report indicated the Browns are high on the 2018 quarterback class and didn’t want a player like Watson to impede them in this pursuit.
  • Carson Palmer is not ruling out the possibility of returning for the Cardinals‘ last two regular-season games, but like Aaron Rodgers, the quarterback would need his team to have a reason to bring him off IR. “I could potentially be available the last two weeks of the season,” Palmer said Saturday, via Darren Urban of “Who knows? I don’t know where I’ll be (with rehab) at that point. I don’t know where we will be as a team at that point. I just try to be as ready as I can as quick as I can.” Palmer did not give any indication as to which way he’s leaning regarding retirement, only to say he’s focused on returning from this broken arm. He’s under contract through next season.
  • On the subject of Cardinals quarterbacks, they might have to start a third this season. Drew Stanton suffered a sprained knee in Thursday’s loss to the Seahawks, Mortensen tweets. The Cards would start Blaine Gabbert in the event Stanton can’t go in Week 11 against the Texans. Mortensen adds Matt Barkley will be re-signed in this scenario. Barkley’s worked out for several teams this season since the 49ers cut him. The USC product played for the Cardinals in 2015.

Cardinals Place Carson Palmer On IR

The Cardinals’ IR has become flush with big names. Carson Palmer joined that contingent officially on Thursday. The team announced the placement of its starting quarterback on IR.

This will put Palmer out for at least eight weeks, with the Cardinals’ Christmas Eve game against the Giants being the earliest the veteran passer could return.

Palmer suffered a broken arm in the Cardinals’ loss to the Rams on Sunday, and while Bruce Arians said this week Palmer believed he could return sooner, the 15th-year signal-caller is on the shelf for the mandated eight weeks. This timeline could well mean Palmer’s season is over. And given that he didn’t announce he was returning to the Cardinals until the offseason was well underway, it shouldn’t be assumed Palmer will return to football.

The Cardinals are 3-4 and vying for playoff positioning out of a competitive division. The Rams lead the NFC West at 5-2, and the Seahawks — qualifiers for five straight NFC playoff brackets — are 4-2 with a road victory over the Rams. Arizona is now without its top quarterback, running back and offensive lineman, with David Johnson and Mike Iupati also on IR.

Arizona can bring Johnson or Iupati back earlier, but the Cardinals falling out of the race would presumably induce the team to err on the side of caution and give the younger talents a fresh start going into the 2018 season.

Palmer is under contract through next season and set to count $20.625MM against the Cardinals’ cap. He contemplated retirement after last season but opted to return. The former Heisman Trophy winner has suffered multiple severe knee injuries, the second damaging the 2014 Cardinals’ hopes. This latest malady figures to induce more deliberation from the passer about his future.

NFC West Notes: Cardinals QB’s, Seahawks DE’s, Foster

Despite initial reports that Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer will undergo surgery on his broken arm and be out for eight weeks, the veteran signal caller may think he can return sooner than that. The 37 year-old reportedly told head coach Bruce Arians that he “may be able to return in 4-6 weeks”, according to Josh Weinfuss of This news conflicts with the original prognosis, and Arians didn’t seem to doubt his QB’s feeling. “That’d be great…it depends on what the surgeon says. He is a fast healer. He’s had it broken before and basically said he was back in five.” Drew Stanton will still have to hold down the fort for the time being as the team looks to regain its footing after a 33-0 beatdown at the hands of the Rams.

  • Even with the Palmer injury, it seems like the Cardinals won’t be bringing in free agent quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. Arians told Weinfuss when asked about signing the former 49ers quarterback, “We’ve never had more than two on our roster since I’ve been here. We liked Blaine Gabbert so much that we kept him this year. So, we’re really where we always are.” Although, the coach did express potential interest in “a practice squad arm”.
  • With defensive end Cliff Avril out for at least seven games, the Seahawks may be looking to bring a free agent into the fold, tweets Bon Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta adds in another tweet that he hears the team could look into 37 year-old Dwight Freeney. The longtime Colts star remains on the open market after suiting up for the Falcons last season.
  • Reuben Foster was rather noncommittal about when he would return from an injury he suffered this past Sunday. Now it appears that the rookie linebacker is “good to go” after tests on his ribs, reports Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. After being removed on two separate occasions in a loss to the Cowboys, it would seem that the 49ers linebacker has avoided his second long-term injury of his first professional season.