Arizona Cardinals duo Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald enjoyed a resurgent season last year, but they missed out on their ultimate goal of a Super Bowl title. The Cardinals have ensured that Palmer and Fitzgerald will have a little more time together to achieve that goal after signing both to one-year contract extensions Friday.
The extensions will keep the 36-year-old Palmer in Arizona through the 2018 season, and will lock Fitzgerald, who turns 33 in late August, in through 2017.
After three consecutive seasons with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards, 2015 was a bounce-back year for Fitzgerald. The wide receiver totaled 1,215 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, and his performance in the Divisional round against the Green Bay Packers was a big reason the Cardinals advanced to the NFC Championship, where they lost to the Carolina Panthers.
Early in training camp, Fitzgerald was asked how much longer he planned to play, and he didn’t seem to have a firm timeline.
Fitzgerald said retiring as an Cardinal is a priority, and he has expressed uncertainty about how much longer he plans to play. One of the caveats Fitzgerald had for continuing to play was that he didn’t want to go through adapting to a new quarterback. By also extending Palmer, the Cardinals have alleviated that concern for Fitzgerald.
Palmer’s extension is worth $24.35 million, and the next two years of his contract are fully guaranteed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Palmer played at a high level in 2016. He threw for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns, which were both career marks for the veteran quarterback. Fitzgerald's extension is worth $11 million and is also guaranteed for injury.
The Cardinals, who finished the regular season 13-3 a year ago, also extended another key member of the team earlier in the week when they locked down defensive back Tyrann Mathieu.