On Thursday, Arizona Cardinals fans got some news that probably caused mixed feeling. AZCentral reporter Kent Somers reported the team began talks with quarterback Carson Palmer on a contract extension and hope to reach a new agreement before the end of the season.
Palmer technically has a contract that runs through the 2015 season, but because of the verbiage, if he is on the roster five days after the Super Bowl this season, the final year is voided, which would make him a free agent.
"I won't get into specific points of the negotiations but we've had some dialogue with Dave Dunn," General Manager Steve Keim said. "He (Palmer) has done a great job for us."
If Palmer were to leave after this season, the team would once again be in an unsteady QB setting. Backup Drew Stanton is under contract for one more season and rookie Logan Thomas has three more years left, but neither is proven as a starter.
What are the mixed feelings about this?
On one side, you have a player who threw for over 4000 yards a season ago and is 12-6 as a starter since coming to the team. The team is 14-7 since acquiring the veteran.
Palmer will turn 35 in December, but head coach Bruce Arians said this past offseason he believes the veteran QB "could play until 36, 37 easily."
On the other side, there is the age issue. Keeping Palmer as the starter longer means putting off a young quarterback. When will Arizona draft a franchise guy? They have a young project in Logan Thomas, but, outside of Matt Leinart, Arizona has not drafted a quarterback in the first or second round since Jake Plummer in 1997.
Palmer has never won a postseason game. he has a reputation for turning the ball over.
He will also not come cheaply.
Overthecap.com has a chart of average salaries of quarterbacks. With Andy Dalton, Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick getting new deals worth over $15 million on average, combined with the play of Palmer, you can expect Palmer to get quarterback money.
What will that be?
I would speculate an extension would be two years minimum, but I would expect three. If I had to guess, it will take two years, $30 million. If a third year is added, I could see it being three years, for between $36 and $40 million.
Palmer's contract with Arizona was for three years, $24 million originally, with the third year voiding automatically.
Arizona is in a tough spot. They don't have any proven options behind Palmer. They are winning. Imagine if Palmer leads the Cardinals to the playoffs or deep into the playoffs. It would look ridiculous if Palmer were to then leave.
The question for you is this -- should the Cardinals extend Palmer? Should they let him walk, roll with Stanton in 2-15 and draft a guy early? If they extend him, for how long should it be and for how much money?