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Updated Feb 9, 2017 - 3:02 pm

Carson Palmer to return to Cardinals for 2017 season

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

It seemed to be only a matter of time, but on Thursday it became official: Carson Palmer will play in 2017.

The Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback, 37, was pondering retirement, but ultimately decided he was not quite ready to call it a career.

It is a positive development for the Cardinals, who last season finished 7-8-1 but remain confident they are not far off from being Super Bowl contenders. Palmer, who missed one game this season due to a concussion, is a big part of that, as he passed for 4,233 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2016.

While Palmer was mostly solid this past season, he was not as good as he was in 2015 when he was third in MVP voting after throwing for 4,571 yards and 35 touchdowns in guiding the Cardinals to a 13-3 record and a berth in the NFC Championship Game. Part of that could be due to the players around him, however, as he was sacked 40 times in 15 games (compared to 25 in all 16 last season) and had a very inconsistent group of receivers.

Palmer is under contract through the 2018 season, and will be entering his fifth campaign with Arizona. In 53 games as the team’s starter, the team has posted a 35-17-1 record while he has completed 62.6 percent of his passes for 14,804 yards with 96 touchdowns and 50 interceptions.

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