Quarterback Carson Palmer has confirmed he will return for his 15th NFL season and will remain with the Cardinals for 2017. Last week, Larry Fitzgerald announced he would return next season and it seemed to be a matter of time before Palmer would follow suit.
Palmer had previously stated that he wanted to ensure he was physically ready for another NFL season which makes sense as he is now at the age of 37 and the only QB who seems to be defying age is Tom Brady right now. The Cardinals went 7-8-1 last season which was a hammer blow coming a year after they went 13-3 and made it to the NFC championship game.
Last year they fell backwards and one of the reasons given for that was Palmer’s struggle in the pocket. Palmer was battered in 2016 with the offensive line struggling in front of him. He was sacked 40 times in 2016 which was the fifth highest in the NFL.
In 2016 he had a pass completion of 61% for 4,233 yards. He threw 26 touchdowns and 14 interceptions averaging 7.09 yards per pass attempt and 11.6 yards per completion. Palmer’s announcement means his $15.5 million salary for 2017 becomes fully guaranteed on Friday.
2016 was not all bad for Palmer, he did show that he can stretch the field and fit the ball into small windows despite the pocket collapsing around him constantly. For Arizona fans it will be a relief to see Fitzgerald and Palmer commit to the upcoming season. There was a very real prospect that both players may leave the team but it does mean that the Cardinals need to start looking for their future quarterback.
2017 will more than likely be Palmer’s last season given that he took a month to decide on whether he would return for the 2017 season. The Cards will likely look to add a quarterback of the future in the draft as well as beefing up the offensive line which caused them so many problems last year.
The Cards will look for a return to form with a new offensive look next season and will hope for a return to form after a disappointing 2016 run.