ARIZONA CARDINALS

Carson Palmer’s selflessness shines as Cardinals put him in Ring of Honor

Sep 29, 2019, 7:49 PM | Updated: 10:02 pm

Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer watches as his names is added to the Cardinals' ...

Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer watches as his names is added to the Cardinals' ring of honor at half time an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Peek at Carson Palmer’s feed on Instagram, and it’s clear that once he drove out of the desert, away from his NFL life, he wouldn’t be itching to get back.

There are images of camping trips and fishing success stories. Lots of the pictures are of his children.

Two years ago, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback called it quits, a decision about spending time with his family as much as the toll the game took on his body. But if he were to ever be up close to an NFL game again, the man revered for his toughness and competitiveness no doubt would feel as attached as ever.

Palmer couldn’t avoid attending the Cardinals-Seahawks game on Sunday.

Arizona inducted him into its Ring of Honor at State Farm Stadium, and before and after, the gameday emotions came spilling back.

“Just making the drive, making the right off the highway and the cones and the lights, I had done it so many times with guys in my car,” Palmer said before the game. “… We’d go to breakfast in the morning and then head in — just talking about the game and getting ready for the game.

“It’s a really weird feeling and a great feeling to be back. As you’re at home watching on TV, you forget all the emotions you have as you enter the stadium. The emotions haven’t changed for me.”

Arizona’s loss to Seattle on Sunday was just Palmer’s second NFL game he’s attended as a fan, he said. The last was the 1994 NFC Championship Game between Troy Aikman’s Dallas Cowboys and Steve Young’s San Francisco 49ers, when Palmer was in high school.

Palmer called the Cardinals’ decision to induct him into their Ring of Honor “a shock and an honor.”

The former quarterback thanked the fans and spoke of cherished Arizona memories that included everyone from Cardinals president Michael Bidwill to the parking lot attendant.

Palmer glossed over the fact that he oversaw one of the most successful runs in franchise history. The Cardinals went 38-21-1 with him at quarterback from 2013-17, making the 2015 NFC Championship Game.

“It wasn’t about statistics — not everything was about statistics,” Palmer said of his time with Arizona. “It was the most fun I’ve had playing football.”

Palmer likely found his way into the Ring of Honor so quickly following his retirement because of how he carried himself.

He didn’t act like USC’s golden boy or Heisman winner or the No. 1 pick or the successful NFL quarterback.

Palmer did know when to hold his teammates accountable. But he was also willing to dress as a flamingo after losing a quarterback bucket challenge. In other words, he’s never taken himself too seriously.

Asked where he keeps his Heisman Trophy these days, Palmer looked toward his son for help.

“Um … I have a garage-office. It’s in my garage,” he said. “We pulled it out a little while ago. It’s kind of up on a shelf — it’s actually behind some Yeti coolers that we’ve been using to go camping.

“Elle, my oldest daughter, the other day asked me, ‘What is that?’ I got halfway through the explanation and her mind was on something else so she just totally disrespected (me) and walked away.”

Palmer retired to improve his livelihood and that of his children. He also went about his NFL business trying to bring the best out of others, who, judging by his ex-teammates’ comments, he treated as family.

After the Cardinals’ 27-10 loss to the Seahawks, Palmer’s emotions again called back to his playing days.

As usual, it wasn’t about him. It was about the Cardinals team that he’s now forever attached to.

“Carson only cares about winning,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “When I talked to him after the game, he said, ‘Man, you guys need to win that game.’ That’s what he stood for, and that’s the reason we won 50 games in five years with him as our starting quarterback, because he believed in that. He worked like that every single day, and that was his mindset.”

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Presented By
Western Governors University

Presented By
Western Governors University
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to throw against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise (22) scores a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones (55) lines up against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 
              Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
            Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) as defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (99) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 27-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 27-10. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, right, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, left, exchange jerseys after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, left, exchange jerseys after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, right, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, left, exchange jerseys after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) greets Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 27-10. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches his career 1,325 catch to tie Tony Gonzalez for second place on the all-time receptions list during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 27-10. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3), right, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 27-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3), right, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. The Seahawks won 27-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches his career 1,326 catch to pass Tony Gonzalez for second place on the all-time receptions list during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches his career 1,325 catch to tie Tony Gonzalez for second place on the all-time receptions list during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) runs as Seattle Seahawks defensive end Ezekiel Ansah defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray (1) watch during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scores a touchdown as Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) is sacked by Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Haason Reddick (43) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) pulls in a catch as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tre Flowers (21) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs in for a touchdown as Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Akeem King (36) and cornerback Ugo Amadi (28) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals cornerback Kevin Peterson (27) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) makes the catch as Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson takes the snap against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (88) is hit by Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tramaine Brock (20) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws as Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Al Woods (72) pursues during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks to through against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) scrambles against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) kneels on the turf after being tackled by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Rasheem Green (98) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) eludes the reach of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (94) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (88) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals strong safety Budda Baker (32) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (88) pulls in a touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly pulls in a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy (33) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy (33) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf (14) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) runs back an interception for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals offensive guard J.R. Sweezy (64) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks linebacker Mychal Kendricks during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) eludes the reach of Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (90) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tre Flowers (21) celebrates after a missed field goal by the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll takes the field prior an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray warms up prior an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald warms up prior an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up prior an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches his team prior an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Defensive end Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals sacks quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at State Farm Stadium on September 30, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

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