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'It's a dream situation': Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer plans to end career in Arizona

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Posted at 2:16 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 19:56:48-04

Last week, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer signed a contract extension that will keep him in the Valley through the 2018 season.

The 14-year NFL pro didn't have to think twice about signing it, and he said he intends to end his pro football career right here in Arizona.

"It's a dream situation," Palmer said Tuesday as he prepares to begin his fourth season with the Cardinals. "I've been playing my whole career to be in a situation like this and play for an owner like this and a GM like this.

"And then, you throw in the chance to play for Bruce (Arians) and be one of Bruce's quarterbacks, and a chance to play in a locker room like this and a chance to improve a fantastic roster. I didn't hesitate at all."

Palmer said there's nothing the Cardinals don't do well. From the front office to the medical staff and the grounds crew, it's a franchise that accounts for every detail on and off the field.

"That's why I'm so happy to finish my career here and know this is where it ends," he said. "All the people involved in this organization, from the very top to the equipment managers to the guys that take care of the field and keep that grass the fastest grass in the league -- everything. It's all encompassing. Everything here is first class. I know how special it is. I understand how rare this opportunity is."

Palmer said Michael Bidwill, the son of the Cardinals' owner who took over as team president in 2007, has created a player-first environment in Arizona.

"Everything he's given us from a player's standpoint, it's a top-flight, first-class organization, and guys that have played elsewhere understand that and realize how special it is," Palmer said.

The Cardinals are coming off a 13-win season and an NFC Championship appearance. But Palmer is 36 years old and future Hall of Fame wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is 32, which is why conventional wisdom says the Cards' window for winning their first-ever Super Bowl is a small one.

Palmer doesn't see things that way. In fact, thanks to the commitment Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim have made in continuing to improve the team through the draft and free agency, Palmer doesn't see a "window" at all.

"I thought last year's team was really, really good until we started working in OTAs, and then we got to training camp, and you see how much better this team is than last year," he said.  "I don't see a window. I just see opportunity."