NFL: Cardinals QB Palmer announces retirement

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(Reuters) – Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday after 15 seasons, leaving the team with two big voids after their head coach made the same decision this week.

The 38-year-old Palmer was drafted first overall in 2003 by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played eight seasons, and then after a forgettable two-year stint with the Oakland Raiders joined the Cardinals in 2013.

“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 in a statement released by the Cardinals.

”The answer was almost always the same ‘you just know’.

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

Palmer enjoyed early success with Cincinnati as he led them to a division title in 2005 but on the first snap of his first playoff game he suffered a torn ACL after taking a low hit.

After a lackluster stint in Oakland where he won eight games over two seasons, Palmer rejuvenated his career in Arizona under head coach Bruce Arians’ vertical-passing scheme and alongside future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

But Palmer’s career was hampered by injuries, including in the 2014 season when he missed Arizona’s playoff run with a torn ACL.

Palmer, who missed the final nine games of Arizona’s season with a broken arm, ends his NFL career 12th on the all-time rankings with 294 touchdown passes.

He also hold the Cardinals franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns in a season, both marks set in 2015.

Arians announced his retirement on Monday and Fitzgerald, 34, has said he does not know if he will return for the NFL’s 2018 season.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury