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Carson Palmer Announces His Retirement
Carson Palmer’s time as a Cardinal and in the NFL is over. The NFL’s No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 draft, who turned 38 last week, announced his retirement Tuesday via a letter, closing out a 15-season career – the last five of which were spent with the Cardinals.

"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," Palmer wrote. "The answer was almost always the same: You just know.

"For me that time is now. Why? Quite simply, I just know."

Palmer’s announcement comes a day after coach Bruce Arians did the same.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is also contemplating retirement, is expected to take some time before deciding if he will play in 2018.

Palmer will still cost about $6.6 million in dead cap space for 2018, but his departure will save $14M on the cap.

The Cardinals, however, now do not have any quarterbacks under contract for 2018. Blaine Gabbert, Drew Stanton and Matt Barkley are all scheduled to become free agents.

Palmer’s tenure didn’t end the way he wanted, with a broken left arm in London that meant he played only seven games this season. But he celebrated a career rebirth with the Cardinals, meshing into Arians’ offense, becoming one of the top passers in franchise history and leading the team – during his own MVP-quality season – to the NFC Championship game in 2015.

Palmer’s transition with Arians wasn’t completely smooth, with interceptions coming far too often in the first half of the 2013 season as Palmer and the wide receiving corps tried to learn a complicated system. But Palmer found his groove the second half of that season, and went 6-0 as a starter in 2014 as shoulder problems and a torn ACL eventually ended his year.

Then came his fantastic performance in 2015. Palmer threw for a career-high 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns as the Cardinals went 13-3 before losing to Carolina the step before the Super Bowl.

While Fitzgerald’s amazing run after the catch is what is remembered about the Cards’ dramatic win in overtime over the Packers in the NFC divisional playoff game, it was Palmer’s own play – spinning away from a sure sack before finding Fitzgerald – that was equally important on that play.

“He’s been an unbelievable teammate,” Fitzgerald said last week. “I’ve seen him grow as a player, picking up this system and having some of the best numbers of his career. I still think he has a lot of great football in him. What he’s going to decide to do, I don’t know. Whatever he does decide to do, we’ll all respect that.”

And now we know what that decision is.