The Arizona Cardinals are waiting to find out if they will have to head into the 2017 season without two of their most important offensive pieces.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are both contemplating retirement, and neither has told the team if he plans to return next season. Cardinals sources who spoke with Rapoport believe both Fitzgerald and Palmer will play in 2017, whereas league sources have predicted neither will be back.
One person who claims to be familiar with Fitzgerald’s thinking said the 33-year-old receiver may be more likely to call it a career if Palmer retires. Palmer, 37, is said to be “tired and worn down,” and he may have some reservations about working with new Cardinals quarterback coach Bryon Leftwich now that former QB coach Freddie Kitchens has become the team’s running backs coach.
Palmer is scheduled to earn $17.5 million in 2017 and Fitzgerald is on the books for $11 million. If both players retire, the Cardinals would have plenty of money to spend this winter. There is some belief that Arizona would target Tony Romo if Palmer does not return.
While the Cardinals and head coach Bruce Arians would surely prefer to have both Palmer and Fitzgerald back, Arians made it clear earlier this month that he will not interfere with the thought process of a player who is unsure about his future. There have also been indications that we will not be given much warning if Fitzgerald decides his playing days are over.