Extending Palmer and the 2015 offseason

Posted by Darren Urban on October 17, 2014 – 10:21 am

It comes as no surprise that the Cardinals want to extend quarterback Carson Palmer. GM Steve Keim said he has had initial discussions with Palmer’s agent, and given the landscape, keeping Palmer around makes sense for both sides. For Palmer, who will turn 35 in December, he has found a comfort — and success — working in Bruce Arians’ system. Considering there probably aren’t many teams that are going to want to bring in a 35-year-old QB, at least not believing in him at the level the Cardinals do, Palmer wanting to remain is only logical.

The Cardinals have a quarterback who works for them, not only passing the ball but as a leader, a guy who easily was voted captain by his teammates. Palmer stands tall in that locker room, and it has nothing to do with his 6-foot-5 frame but the way he carries himself and plays off every guy in there. At some point, the Cardinals will have to find their long-term QB answer, and maybe it’s Logan Thomas and maybe Keim sees the franchise QB sitting there late in the first round this coming April, but there are no certainties and having Palmer in place is almost obvious for the team too.

The shoulder nerve issue probably threw a wrench into things somewhat. You have to believe Palmer will stay healthy. But assuming that, this should work. If it makes so much sense for both sides, it almost has to, right?

But that also leads into this incredibly interesting offseason to come for Keim. Last year, he said the 2015 season was really when the Cards would be in better shape in terms of the salary cap. You can only assume he was already taking into account the Larry Fitzgerald situation, and what he may or may not do with Darnell Dockett’s contract (a spot that’s gotten stickier now that Dockett, who turns 34 in May, will be coming off major knee surgery.)  That doesn’t include the scheduled free agents: Antonio Cromartie, Dan Williams, Sam Acho, Tommy Kelly, Larry Foote and Paul Fanaika among them.

If there is anything Keim has shown with a couple of offseasons under his belt, it’s that the Cardinals have a plan on how they spend. And going overboard isn’t part of it. There is a number the Cardinals have in mind they will want to give to any of these guys for 2015 — for a Fitz, for a Dan Williams. For a Palmer. Selling a chance to stay with a winner helps.

Of course, winning only happens when there is a QB in place. Palmer is that guy for the Cardinals. You want him to stick around.


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34 Responses to “Extending Palmer and the 2015 offseason”

  1. By Dynosoar on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    “Palmer is that guy for the Cardinals. You want him to stick around.”

    Yes. Yes I do.

  2. By azjam on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    I like Palmer and feel that it will really make good sense to extend his contract. See no reason why he can’t continue to contribute as a starter for another 3 to 4 years.

  3. By Marlin on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    One “cap” story not talked about much is the high amount of “dead money” we are carrying this year for O Linemen that are not on the roster. That goes away after this season and helps Keim a lot next year. I think the OL dead money amount is something around $13M.

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Dead money

    True, there is about $12M in dead money from OL. But the Colledge money was split equally this year and next. Brown/Snyder come off the books though, about $9.5M. Then again, if Fitz is released/traded, that’ll suck up a ton of dead money.

  5. By D on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Comes down to the right contracts/money for these players. I see Palmer agreeing and coming back on a two yr deal with team option for yr 3.

    I don’t see Dockett back with his current deal. I also don’t see Larry getting 23mil next year. Cards need to draft Larry Foote’s replacement, because DWash most likely won’t be back with another future suspension looming. Acho is a great guy, but Cards can bring in a free agent with better production. Dan Williams is a guy they should look to keep, especially with Taa’mu coming back from a serious knee injury. If Tommy Kelly wants to play for the minimum again next year, could be a player to bring back at the end of next summer. Cromartie and Fanaika will be determined by their production rest of this year.

  6. By Travis on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    I was just reading on Yahoo! about possible deadline moves. What do you think is the most likely outcome with Fitz? I don’t want to lose such a positive player, but… We could use some depth if we are going to make a run this season.

  7. By Darren Urban on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Travis —

    RE: Fitz

    If you are asking if he is going to be traded, he’s not going to be traded.

  8. By Lar on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Palmer is the answer today. I am not all that positive about third string guy. Just think at one time we had Brian Hoyer and let him go. BUMMER

  9. By Big Ken on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, can they split Fitzgerald’s dead money over a number of year like they did Colledge’s? 23M ouch.

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Fitz money

    Yes, they can do it with anyone. It wouldn’t be 23M in dead money though.

  11. By georgiebird on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Let’s see a little more of Palmer in some critical games ahead. We don’t need another PP contract.

  12. By georgiebird on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    You don’t call the PP deal “going overboard” ??

  13. By Darren Urban on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Peterson deal

    No. It’s the going rate for a 24-year-old considered one of the best in the league. You can argue it until you are blue in the face — and knowing you, you will — but Peterson would have gotten same deal regardless of where he played. We all know he needs to play better, but this idea that you could have signed Peterson for $5M a season is naive at best.

  14. By Scott H on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Yes, Palmer staying here makes the most sense for both sides. And I hope he does stay here. Hard to image he would opt to leave and as Darren points out, there would not be a huge demand for him at this point. Palmer and the Cardinals are PERFECT for each other right now. However…

    …I would be more psyched about this if the nerve / shoulder issue weren’t lingering out there like a ghost. Palmer is a good, solid veteran QB. And what is his biggest asset? IMHO, it is his big arm, still one of the strongest in the league right now. He’s a great deep ball thrower and this team has weapons to be used downfield. But this nerve thing….is it gonna be the kind of thing that is going to keep coming back? Is it something that is now going to limit his deep ball capability? Is the 80% he is at now going to turn out to be his new 100%?

    They’re all fair questions. And I think another fair question is what happens with Drew Stanton now? Does he stick around to be Palmer’s back-up when there will probably be increased interest in HIM? Gotta tell ya, Palmer is a lot more attractive to me when we have a guy of Stanton’s caliber behind him.

  15. By Darren Urban on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Stanton

    Well, Stanton is under contract through 2015, so nothing is changing there for a while.

  16. By Scott H on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Darren –

    OK, thanks for the clarity on that. That is very good to know. I guess I will hope, then, that Stanton does not become trade bait, the way Kevin Kolb became trade bait for the Eagles a few years back. The fact that he IS in the last year of his contract adds to my worry. Because I wonder if the Cardinals WOULD consider trying to get something in return for him instead of just having him leave as a FA after 2015. Yes, I’m basing my opinion of Stanton on a limited view. But I truly believe we are best served by having him here instead of trying to cash him in for something else.

  17. By perry matherne on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Perfect plan coach bruce

  18. By BeastMode on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Percy Harvin just got traded. Hell yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. By Roy on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Palmer is definetly the guy. He will help bring up Logan. As for Dock and Fitz, they are both huge parts of this team. These guys are proffesionals and they have to know what their value is. I bet we see them back next year. They can test there value on the market, but look what happened to Eric Bledsoe with the Suns. I love Fitz, and Dock, but they won’t get more from another team, and another team won’t get more from them than we will. GO CARDS!!! #5and1

  20. By cards62 on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Fitz is my favorite Cardinal of all time and what a run he had for us during our Super Bowl year. Really like the way he conducts himself off the field just a class act and total team player. The value of Fitz in the locker room I do not think can be measured but it has to be enormous for our team so lets not forget that.
    Fitz is the Derek Jeter of Football and we have him in Arizona. My heart wants him back at all cost, but my head understands $23 million is way too much, but we have to keep him we just have to, as I could not stomach seeing Fitz in another unifrom. Go Csrds beat the Raiders

  21. By Steve on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: You have seen Palmer play now for the Cards for a season and a half roughly. Provided he stays relatively healthy, how many more productive seasons do you feel he can play? Do you see him being a good QB well into his late 30’s like Manning and Brady? Not at their level but still a winning QB.

  22. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Palmer

    I don’t see why he wouldn’t have a couple of more seasons at least.

  23. By clssylssy on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    What a buzzkill! We aren’t halfway through the season and everyone is starting to talk in terms of dismantling the team to save money and all the “what if’s”. OK, I’ll bite…”What if” we lose Todd Bowles? Last year he got a few nibbles to be a HC,and certainly, if he got a good offer, the Cards wouldn’t stand in his way of accepting,so we could be looking at a much different team…consistency has never been the hallmark of the Arizona Cardinals organization with a virtual hampster wheel of coaches, players and trainers. The Cards begin going in a positive direction and at the first sign of rough waters they abandon ship and start over. We seem to have righted the boat for now, but who knows what’s around the bend?
    While it makes sense to begin talks with Palmer, it seems even an extension is only a bandaid for a team still looking for it’s own Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson. I like consistency and the idea of veteran players providing the stability that many teams don’t have. Palmer would make a good teacher although his shoulder issue, to me, would be a big concern as these things usually only get worse. Scott brings up a very good point about Stanton. He is good, a lot better than some of the starters in the league, and if he were offered a good deal as a starter, would BA hold him back–I doubt it. By going to the Browns, Hoyer has had the opportunity he never would have had in Arizona(not to mention the money) and a major boost to his career. Logan Thomas is an interesting project but is BA really wanting to take on the role of developing the next “deal of the decade” QB or is that part of somebody else’s job description now. Arizona fans seem to want instant gratification and don’t want to wait for “development”. Currently, we have depth at QB which is gold, and our ability to bring in the “next man up” during this time of heavy loss to injuries has been what’s kept us in the game so we’ve come a long way from a few years back in developing our practice squad.
    Nobody wants to talk about Larry or Dock going elsewhere but they most certainly could. and, I suspect, a lot of fans would go with them.(Sounds like Keim and Co. have already planned their farewell party). These were the guys a lot of fans went to see play during those frustrating times when we were the joke of the league and they were the biggest thing we had going, and people tend to be more loyal than employers. We saw last week the difference it makes when Fitz gets the ball and I doubt that Doc would have trouble finding a new gig, given the emphasis on defense in this league and the market for reliable playmakers.
    So, how about let’s focus on the task at hand and controlling the things we can, as much as we can…winning this weeks game and taking it one win at a time. This may be our best shot before it’s back to the hamster wheel! LET’S HAVE A BLOWOUT GAME THIS WEEK. WE ARE CONTENDERS NOT PRETENDERS!

  24. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: “dismantling”

    I appreciate you are such a passionate fan. But it certainly seems most of the time when you write you give zero credence to players getting older and the salary cap. This isn’t a novel. This is reality. A team that is always paying their aging stars more and more money is going to be a bad team soon enough.

  25. By clssylssy on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks Darren and I respect you are a company man. I’ve grown up on football and am well aware of the salary cap, but I’m also aware that the teams you see showing up in the playoffs year-after-year have a certain stability. We all function within the same cap and some teams are better at managing/manipulating the cap than others. If you look at teams like the Steelers, Patriots, 49ers, Broncos, you see marquis veteran players and coaches who are the backbone of not only their team but usually also the league. I’m not saying we should have a 53 man roster made up of 30-year-olds but I do believe that age is pretty much a number when you start talking elite players as they value their craft and have learned the value of taking care of their health and cross training to keep in shape; they prepare 12 months a year so they can continue to produce at an exceptional level.
    As far as Palmer goes, he seems to be hitting his stride and seems to have developed a very valuable chemistry in Arizona. I don’t remember when Peyton had his neck surgery but I think he was about 34 or so(I’m sure someone will clarify that for me, LOL) and the shoulder thing could be repaired in the off season , if needed, with still more play left.
    If this were a novel, I would write a victorious ending this season for the Cards with some very big blowout games to our credit. But, as you pointed out this is reality so I’ll be happy with any kind of wins we can get!

  26. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Classy —

    RE: Backbone

    This has nothing to do about being a “company man.” Ask Kent Somers. Or Mike Jurecki. They will agree with me. You act like the Cards have no veterans. That clearly isn’t true.

    As for all the teams you mentioned, ask Logan Mankins or Wes Welker or James Harrison or Champ Bailey whether those teams won’t get rid of elite players.

  27. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    A couple of thoughts;

    Palmer should be back. It needs to happen.
    But if anyone thinks they are getting some kind of deal because he is a 35 yr old without a lot of options, you are wrong. Palmer will want a fair deal and has retired before when he didn’t like how things were going.

    Drafting a QB;
    The tricky part is if the cards draft a QB, and I think they need to, what happens next is interesting. You don’t keep 4 QBs. So is Thomas released after one year or do you go into the year with Thomas and a rookie as the backups? That is the tough question and it may not be answered till the cards see who is there when they make their first round pick.

    I really thought Thomas was a wasted pick at the time and feel nothing has changed my mind. No touch on passes down the field. Inaccurate. He is a 3 year project and if you pass on drafting a QB in 2015, and he does not pan out, there is no telling if 2016 or 2017 will give you an opportunity to draft a QB. Especially, if Palmer leads the cards to the playoffs in 15 & 16.

  28. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    As for Fitz; (tell me if you think I am wrong Darren)

    Larry’s contracts have always benefited him (as they should). But his agent or himself have been very smart at the structure to balloon at the right time and how he has been in the driver’s seat.

    Fitz is still a top receiver and is still in good shape when negotiating. Maybe he is not the 2008 Fitz, but I think a lot of teams will be lining up to sign a Fitz who is released, with Brady there first.

    Trading Fitz is not going to yield much because everyone knows the cards can’t keep him at 23 million and they will wait till he is cut.

    So, I see fans thinking Fitz will stay and take a smaller salary, but I see no way that happening. What I do see is a receiver who wants to go to the HOF and is not targeted like Johnson, Marshall or Green.

    Sure winning is important, but why couldn’t he win in New England or San Diego or how about catching passes from Luck, Rodgers, or Drew Brees.

    On the flip side, I see a cardinals team in transition. Floyd will be a FA after 2015. Do they want to put that much money into the receivers? They added John Brown and Jaron Brown has talent. There will be good receivers in the draft at a far lessor price.

    So, while hoping Fitz is back, I would be surprised to see this work out in the end, unless he cannot get paid in FA.
    If you disagree, tell me why.

  29. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 19, 2014 | Reply

    Clssylssy —

    Darren’s job is to report on the Cardinals. If anything, a “company man” wouldn’t talk about the possible need to dismantle (your word) the team to some degree.

    Scott H —

    Big difference between the Kolb and Stanton situations IMO. That difference being, Stanton is actually older than Kolb. So when the whole Kolb-to-AZ thing went down (which is now 4 years ago) Kolb was still only a few years into the league — and he had actually won the Eagles’ starting job in 2010 (only to lose it when he got concussed in the first game and then Vick came in and played great). The Cardinals believed him to be the best available QB at a time when they were desperate for one, and so (in retrospect) they overpaid to get him.

    Stanton, meanwhile has been a career backup for 8 years. He’s gotten into a few games but he’s never wowed anyone. The only starting job he’s ever had is on paper (the brief time he spent as our “starter” in Arians’ head before we got Palmer). I love the way Arians handled it — expressing confidence in Stanton from the beginning — but would we have gotten Palmer if we really thought Stanton was an NFL #1 QB? Stanton couldn’t even stay on with the Jets who had serious QB issues of their own. He’s not going to generate significant trade bait interest at the age of 30 (now) or 31 (next year)… only a team that was desperate would consider Stanton an improvement over what they had, and that team wouldn’t pick a 31-year-old career backup as the solution; they’d just draft someone and let him play.

  30. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 19, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG —

    I think everything you say is dead on, and I think the fans who believe otherwise (or who are deluding themselves into believing otherwise) are putting more stock into the notion of a “hometown discount” or Fitz wanting to remain a Cardinal for life than is warranted. The reality of today’s NFL is that guys move… even stars.

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