Nearing the end of his tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010, quarterback Carson Palmer could have retired. The 2002 Heisman Trophy winner went as far as telling a friend that he “will never step foot in Paul Brown Stadium again.”
Palmer was dumped off to the Oakland Raiders in October of the 2011 regular season. Palmer spent two seasons with the Raiders.
The former USC Trojan was then traded to the Arizona Cardinals. In his first season playing in the desert, Palmer was 352-of-572 (63.3% completion), and threw 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.
The Cardinals went 10-6, but failed to make the playoffs in the fierce NFC West division.
This season, the Cardinals are 7-1, with their one loss being to the Denver Broncos. As a matter of fact, Palmer was sidelined for that game.
Now, Arizona is atop their division, and Palmer has thrown 11 touchdowns to only two interceptions in the five games he has played. Palmer was set to hit free agency following the 2014 campaign, but the Cards’ front staff was not about to let that happen.
Not after the plentiful amount of quarterbacks they cycled through. Not after three subpar seasons, hungover from two playoff trips.
On Friday, Palmer inked a $50 Million deal with $20.5 Million guaranteed. Palmer is under contract through the 2017 season.
Palmer and the Cardinals are Super Bowl contenders this season, and will be in future years.