Cardinals extend contracts of Fitzgerald, Palmer
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Carson Palmer have signed one-year contract extensions with the Arizona Cardinals.
The deals put Fitzgerald under contract through the 2017 season and Palmer through 2018.
Fitzgerald, holder of virtually all the franchise receiving records with statistics among the NFL’s all-time greats, turns 33 on Aug. 31.
Palmer is 36 and entering his 14th NFL season, fourth with the Cardinals. He set franchise records and personal bests for yards passing, touchdown passes and quarterback rating in leading Arizona to a 13-3 record last season.
Fitzgerald is entering his 13th NFL season, all with Arizona. His 109 catches last season broke the franchise mark he set a decade earlier.
“Clearly these are two core members of our team who have played major roles in our success,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a news release announcing the signings. “Each of them had contracts that were due to expire in the next year or two so these extensions provide a measure of certainty and clarity for the players and organization, both now and in the years ahead. It also reaffirms our long-stated intention that when the time comes, these two great players end their stellar careers as Cardinals.”
The team practiced after the announcement was made Friday but neither player was to be made available to reporters, apparently at their request. Fitzgerald spoke to reporters in the locker room earlier but made no mention of the contract.
Fitzgerald, who has spent all 12 of his seasons with the Cardinals, had evaded questions about whether he would play beyond this year, saying, “I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner.”
Fitzgerald, the No. 3 overall draft choice of the Cardinals in 2004, was on the second year of a two-year, $22.5 million deal.
Palmer has thrived in coach Bruce Arians’ wide-open system. After Arians was hired prior to the 2013 season, Palmer was acquired in a trade with Oakland.
His 2014 season was cut short by a torn ACL but he came back to have arguably his best season in 2015. Palmer completed 64 percent of his passes last season for 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 104.6.
Palmer had two years left on the three-year, $49.5 million extension he signed in 2014. A Heisman Trophy winner at USC, Palmer was the No. 1 overall pick by Cincinnati in the 2003 draft.
The deals came one day after Arizona signed defensive back Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million extension, with $21.5 million guaranteed at signing.
Three other major players on the roster have contracts that expire at the end of the coming season outside linebacker Chandler Jones, defensive lineman Calais Campbell and wide receiver Michael Floyd. Starting inside linebacker Kevin Minter’s contract also expires at the end of this season.
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