Much was made of the idea that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer might retire this offseason, but Palmer ultimately decided to come back for another season – one that many believe will be his last.
However, one of the people closest to the 37-year-old says not to count out a potential 2018 return for the quarterback.
“I’m not trying to put words in anybody’s mouth, but I would hesitate to say that Carson’s only gonna play one more year,” Jon Kitna said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM‘s Doug and Wolf on Monday. “I don’t know if he’s said that personally, publicly or anything like that, but he’s one of the most competitive people I know.”
Kitna – whom Palmer described as “the most instrumental person in my NFL career” – was the starting quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals when the team drafted the Heisman winner out of USC first overall in the 2003 NFL Draft.
He started over the highly touted rookie in 2003, before serving as his backup for the next two seasons. He retired following the 2011 season and currently serves as the head coach of the Waxahachie High School Indians in Texas.
Kitna isn’t the only one saying this, however. Palmer himself wouldn’t rule out a 2018 return when he came on Doug and Wolf earlier this month.
As far as thoughts of retirement, Kitna believes that is a common occurrence after the season for NFL players.
“Every player is thinking that at the end of the year,” he said. “Sometimes you just have a mic in your face, or sometimes people actually care care about what you have to say.”
However, the former Bengal understands why Palmer would consider walking away from the game.
“I also know that he likes being around his family, and the season takes a toll on you,” he said.
Due to Palmer’s uncertain future beyond this season, many are speculating that the Cardinals may look to add a quarterback in the draft who can develop behind the veteran while learning the ropes – just like the Bengals did with Palmer and Kitna.
Kitna thinks that Arizona should definitely consider it if there is a prospect available that they fall in love with.
“If that guy’s out there, and you have a chance to draft him, then you do unless you just feel like you’ve got a guy that’s gonna be around for the next 10 years,” he said. “There are some good quarterbacks out there. I like some of these quarterbacks coming out.”
Of the 144 mock drafts tracked by Arizona Sports, 34 have the Cardinals selecting a quarterback with the 13th pick of the first round. Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer leads the way with 21, while North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky and Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes II both have five, and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson – whom Kitna heavily endorsed – comes in at three.