Arizona QB Carson Palmer set to retire

Arizona veteran quarterback Carson Palmer will play his last NFL game Sunday at The Coliseum, and then call it a career.

Published on Saturday, 12/31/16, at 5:29 p.m. Eastern.

According to a source, Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer has decided to retire. He will likely make this announcement following Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Rams at The Coliseum, where his storied career began as Southern Cal’s QB in the early years of Pete Carroll’s dynastic, albeit controversial, tenure at the school.

Palmer nearly led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl a season ago, only to lose at Carolina in the NFC Championship Game. However, Arizona has limped to a disappointing 6-8-1 record this year and won’t be playing in the postseason.

His NFL career started in Cincinnati, where he played for seven seasons. Palmer led the Bengals to the playoffs in 2005, his second year in the league, by throwing for 3,836 yards with a 32/12 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

But on the first play of a home playoff game against the Steelers, he threw a 66-yard TD pass but was hit low after his release and sustained a torn ACL. Palmer would get Cincinnati back to the playoffs in 2009, but it was one-and-done for the Bengals. He held out in 2011 and forced a mid-season trade to Oakland.

Palmer played two seasons for the Raiders, throwing for 4,018 yards and 22 TDs in 2012. He left for Arizona in 2013 and was off to a hot start in 2014, only to suffer another serious knee injury in Week 6. Once again, he had a strong rehab and came back in great form for last season. In fact, Palmer enjoyed the best season of his career by throwing for 4,671 yards with a 35/11 TD-INT ratio.

He came back this year on a one-year deal worth more than $24 million, but things haven’t worked out. Perhaps this development will lead Arizona to pursue Tony Romo in the coming offseason.

Palmer is USC’s second-leading passer in school history with 11,818 yards. He enjoyed a stellar senior season in 2002, throwing for 3,942 yards with a 33/10 TD-INT ratio. He led the Trojans to a blowout win over Iowa in the Orange Bowl to close out his collegiate career.

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