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In moves that give fantasy football owners a bit more clarity on coming seasons, the Cardinals have given one-year contract extensions to quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the team announced.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Palmer's extension is worth just under $24.35 million and keeps the 36-year-old quarterback under contract in Arizona through 2018. The extension also means Palmer's contract is fully guaranteed for the next two years.
Fitzgerald's extension keeps him under contract through 2017 and it takes one more potential free agent off the Cards’ list at the end of the season.
While Fitzgerald had been scheduled to be a free agent after the 2016 season, Palmer had been scheduled to reach free agency after 2017. Given both of their ages -- Fitzgerald turns 33 later this month, Palmer turns 37 in December -- retirement has been suggested, especially if the Cardinals are able to win the Super Bowl.
But Palmer said last week he’d be more inclined to return to win a second title.
Fitzgerald, meanwhile, has mostly played coy when it comes to talking about his future. Asked about it Sunday, Fitzgerald said he couldn’t plan for the end of the season when he didn’t even know what he’d be having for dinner that night.
“I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t think about (retirement), just preparing for the next phase of my life,” Fitzgerald told the NFL Network last month. “But I have a lot of good football left in me. But I feel great. I can still play at a high level so I just take it one year at a time.”
Both players are coming off one of best years of their career. Fitzgerald set a career high with 109 catches, for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns. Palmer had 35 touchdown passes against only 11 interceptions, and set a team record with 4,671 yards passing.
Palmer wasn’t going anywhere, but the ability of general manager Steve Keim to get both safety Tyrann Mathieu, who landed a five-year, $62.5 million extension averaging more than $12 million annually last week (with $40 million guaranteed), and Fitzgerald extended in a matter of days clears two major hurdles from an impending free agent list that was daunting.
The move also likely clears up some cap space for 2016.
Beyond that, the Cardinals view Michael Floyd as a long-term keeper. Keim told reporters in February that Floyd is a "guy we'll look at addressing" with a new contract, although he said nothing is imminent.
"Mike has made tremendous strides, particularly this past year, not only from a skill-set standpoint but from a maturity standpoint," Keim said. "His work ethic, his passion for the game, I think he took it to another level."
Floyd overcame dislocated fingers in training camp and a slow start to finish hot - he had 36 catches for 636 yards and four touchdowns in his final eight games of the season. He is scheduled to make around $7 million on his rookie contract option.
That contract expires after the end of this season. It remains to be seen if the latest deals will move Floyd's talks out further or if the team will continue to work on an extension for him as well.