”Over the years, I’ve had teammates who decided to hang it up and I would ask them how they knew when it was time to walk away,” the letter began. ”The answer was almost always the same: You just know. For me, it is time now. Why? Quite simply, I just know.”
Palmer, who turned 38 last week, made the announcement in an open letter released Tuesday by the Cardinals. Palmer missed the last nine games of what would be his final season with a broken left arm.
He called his long professional career ”the most incredible experience of my life.”
Palmer and Arians were together the past five seasons, and they included some of the best days of the quarterback’s career.
Standing 6-foot-5 with a remarkably strong arm, Palmer was a Heisman Trophy winner at USC and the No. 1-overall pick by Cincinnati in 2002. He threw for 46,247 yards, 12th-most in NFL history, in a career with the Bengals, Oakland and Arizona.
”When I entered the league, I was a 23-year-old kid,” Palmer wrote. ”I’m leaving a 38-year-old husband and father of four with memories and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. And like most things in life http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-aut ... ant-jersey , it feels like it all passed in a blink of an eye.”
Acquired by the Cardinals for only a sixth-round pick and a swap of seventh-rounders, Palmer’s strong arm was a great fit for Arians’ ”no risk it, no biscuit” big-play passing game.
Palmer twice came back from torn ACL injuries. The first occurred in his playoff debut for Cincinnati in 2005. He was hurt on his first pass, a 66-yard completion. The second came in the sixth game of the 2014 season.
Palmer returned from that one to have probably the best year of his career. In 2015, he set single-season franchise records and career highs for yards passing (4,671) and touchdowns (35) while leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 record, second-best in the NFC. He won his only playoff game in four tries that season, in overtime over Green Bay.
”My family and I are beyond grateful for everything the game has given us as well as the love and support we’ve felt from fans everywhere we’ve been,” he said. ”That’s been especially true in Arizona, where we never expected to end up but wound up being such a special place for us.”
Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley, through Twitter, congratulated Palmer on ”one heck of a career.”
”My favorite all-time teammate is walking away on his terms,” Shipley said. ”Not many people have that opportunity. It’s been an honor and a privilege to block for you and be your teammate. Enjoy retirement brother!”
Cardinals star running back David Johnson, also on Twitter, praised the leadership of Palmer and Arians.
”They have taught me so much on/off the field,” Johnson wrote. ”I seriously owe so much to Carson & (at)BruceArians for how they have gotten me to where I am in my career/life today. I wish you all the best as you start the next stages of life!”
Palmer with a career 62.5 percent completion rate, leaves as the only quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season with three teams. He did it twice for Cincinnati, once for Oakland and three times with Arizona.
Palmer spent seven years with the Bengals, leaving in a dispute with owner Mike Brown that led him to hold out to start the 2011 season, saying he would retire if he wasn’t traded.
He eventually was dealt to Oakland for considerable compensation – a first-round draft pick in 2012 and second-rounder in 2013. Palmer started nine games for the Raiders that season. He put up big numbers with the Raiders but there was little success in wins and losses. Oakland eventually deemed him expendable and sent him to Arizona without much in return.
In addition to the two ACL injuries and this season’s broken arm, Palmer also was limited to four games in 2004 with an elbow injury and missed time with a concussion and shoulder injury in Arizona.
Still, Palmer said he would ”especially miss the grind” of being an NFL player.
”It’s the part I don’t think people fully appreciate,” he wrote, ”maybe because many NFL players make the game look so easy and effortless. The mental and physical preparation it takes to compete – week in and week out, year in and year out – is draining and grueling but has always been my favorite part.”
Now, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim are looking for a new coach and a new quarterback.
Several interviews for the coaching job reportedly have been lined up. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that the Cardinals had received permission to talk to Steelers offensive line coach and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.
The departures of Arians and Palmer leave Larry Fitzgerald as the lone remaining member of the triumvirate that represented the core of the Cardinals’ push for a title the past five years.
Fitzgerald, 34, caught 109 passes this season, second-most in the NFL, and has a contract for next season. But he has said he will take some time before deciding whether to return.
ORCHARD PAR x-out cornerback Tre’Davious White on the opening day of the Bills‘ mandatory minicamp.It wasn’t so much the catch that thrilled Benjamin. It was, more so, how effortlessly he leaped now that his two once-wobbly knees are feeling better.”I’m so happy to have both knees working for me at the same time,” Benjamin said Wednesday.”Last season, that catch, even trying to jump up and get that, I would have had to put so much effort just to jump. I mean, I did it with ease. It was just like second nature to me.”That’s encouraging for Benjamin, who had offseason surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right knee. Benjamin also played through a sore left knee, which he strained while still playing for Carolina, before being traded to Buffalo on Oct. 31.The 27-year-old is attempting to re-establish himself as one of the league’s more productive receivers following a mostly forgettable season in which injuries and the trade stunted his production.Benjamin finished with 48 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns, all career lows since being selected by Carolina with the 28th pick in the 2 ng an entire offseason to familiarize himself with Buffalo and new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll .Just as important, Benjamin believes he’s in a better place entering the final year of his contract after getting the sense he no longer fit the Panthers’ long-term plans.Benjamin revealed he prompted the Panthers to trade him.”I didn’t want to be there no more, nah,” he said. ”I just felt like they weren’t featuring me more. I was their No. 1, but I wasn’t getting my No. 1 targets.”Benjamin had just 32 catches on 51 targets in eight games with the Panthers last season. That was a sharp decline from his rookie season, when he was targeted 145 times, and finished with 73 catches for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns.Bills general manager Brandon Beane gave up third- and seventh-round draft picks to acquire Benjamin, and acknowledged having inside information on the receiver being available. Beane previously served as the Panthers assistant GM and had a hand in drafting Benjamin.”I didn’t think it was a what you’d call a perfect marriage at the time for various reasons, and probably looking at a lot of avenues for blame,” Beane said of Benjamin’s falling out in Carolina.”I know when he’s healthy what he can do. And you can’t coach size and length that he has. And that’s a weapon to defend.”In Buffalo, Benjamin is expected to be a fixture on a revamped offense lacking proven depth behind him at receiver.He also benefits from playing under coach Sean McDermott, who has firsthand knowledge of the threat Benjamin can present after previously serving as the Panthers defensive coordinator.”It’s a matchup concern for defenses, it’s a matchup concern for defensive coordina mott said.The Bills’ passing attack ranked no better than 22nd in three seasons under Tyrod Taylor, who was traded to Cleveland this offseason. Buffalo hasn’t cracked the top 10 of the NFL in yard passing since finishing fifth in 2002 during Drew Bledsoe’s first season.Rookie first-round pick Josh Allen, free-agent addition AJ McCarron and second-year backup Nathan Peterman are competing for the starting job.Benjamin is eager to show he hasn’t lost a step, while knowing he has something to prove when it comes to making a case for his next contract.”I feel like it’s going to come. You ain’t got to sit there and beg for it,” Benjamin said. ”Money, the money, it’s going to come.”NOTES: Allen ended the final day of mandatory practices on Thursday by hitting fellow rookie WR Austin Proehl on a deep touchdown pass on their first play from scrimmage. … The Bills are off until opening training camp in suburban Rochester, New York, on July 26.—