Rumors surrounding the Arizona Cardinals and their decisions for next season are spreading quicker than a desert wildfire in mid-July. Did quarterback Carson Palmer sell his house in the valley and take his kids out of school? Is Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo coming to Arizona? Is wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald calling it quits after his team’s lackluster finish this season? Is linebacker Daryl Washington returning to the Cardinals? With very little to go on, sportswriters are working endlessly to salvage the cold hard truths from the fanned flames of speculation. So far the popular answer to most of these rumors has been “probably” (as in probably, probably not).
“I think you always look at everybody that’s available, but I got my fingers crossed Carson is coming back, and we got (backup) Drew Stanton, so we’re in really good shape at quarterback,” Coach Bruce Arians said last week. “I wish Tony all the best, but I doubt he’ll be a Cardinal.”
Redbirds Rumors in the Off-Season
The Cardinals 2016 season was a disappointment to say the least. This was supposed to be their year. Finishing the season on a two-game winning streak and especially with a victory over the Seattle Seahawks (the “crowned” NFC West champions) really helped to ease some of the frustration. Looking ahead, rumor has it that the Cardinals are making tremendous strides this off-season to ensure a much better outcome for next season. Here’s what we’ve come up with to keep fans up to speed with the team, evaluate team progress so far this off-season, and maybe put some of those unruly rumors to rest.
“This is probably the first year (I considered retirement). It had never really come into my mind like that (before), but after this year, I was so banged up physically, mentally, psychologically,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald is a future Hall Of Famer and one of the greatest wide receivers to have ever played the game. It is his performance both on and off the field that makes him so special. Fitzgerald and Giants quarterback Eli Manning were co-winners of this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for their honorable community efforts and for their charities. Fitzgerald founded the First Down Foundation and the Carol Fitzgerald Memorial Fund, which was named in honor of his late mother who died of breast cancer.
Larry Fitzgerald has stated verbally that he will return with the Cardinals for the 2017 season.
One thing is sure, Tony Romo still wants to play football. What team Romo will be playing for next season is still in question. It was rumored that the Cardinals were interested in making a grab for this high-caliber quarterback. Hopefully, they reconsidered. Taking Romo and his $24.7 million contract would not be beneficial to a team looking to rebound from last season’s tally of disappointments. If Palmer doesn’t return, the Cardinals should consider other options besides Romo. Romo is a better fit, maybe, with the Houston Texans.
Since Thursday of last week, there has been no other news to report on this rumor. Washington has been suspended the last three years for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Whether or not this once great inside linebacker can still perform at a high level is undetermined. Whether or not the Cardinals are willing to take another chance with Washington also remains unknown.
The juicy news is out, folks, and it can’t taste any sweeter than this! Carson Palmer has confirmed (verbally) that he will be leading the Cardinals offense for one more year. Cardinals fans can breathe a little easier in the desert, at least for a little while (until summer). Palmer will be walking into his already guaranteed salary of $15 million. With Palmer and Fitzgerald both returning, the chances are very good for the Cardinals to have a winning 2017 season.
“My intent was to take some time after the season to get away and see where I was physically and mentally,” Palmer said. “On both fronts, I can say I’m ready to get back to work and prepare for the 2017 season. This is a phenomenal group with a very special opportunity in front of it. I know how rare that is and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.”