Just look at what Jaron Brown has done this season for the Arizona Cardinals. He has three catches for 96 yards, and he’s been more reliable than J.J. Nelson. He’s stayed healthier -- this is Nelson’s second injury in his two seasons that has caused him to miss time -- and he’s been more productive on the field. Nelson has one catch this season for 11 yards.
While Nelson has speed that coach Bruce Arians covets and he’s capable of breaking free for a big game -- as he did last season in Week 11 when he had 142 yards, including a 64-yard bomb from quarterback Carson Palmer for a touchdown -- Brown has the been the model of consistency. In three-plus seasons he has 47 catches for 609 yards and five touchdowns. Not bad for an undrafted free agent.
Related players: J.J. Nelson
Yes, Fitz could still decide to walk away after the season and retire. But I don’t think that’s likely now that he’s agreed to another year. No longer will he be a free agent, and I just don’t see him choosing to walk away. I could be wrong — and if the Cardinals were to win a Super Bowl, I’d guess the temptation would be there — but if Fitz comes anywhere close to posting similar numbers as last year while the team can win, I’d guess he fulfills the 2017 portion of his deal.
— As for Palmer, Bruce Arians was blunt: “I don’t think anything changes other than he’s got another year.” Palmer was going to be around.
— Kent Somers reported the move doesn’t have an impact on the salary cap. Which again would revert back to the roster certainty the Cards get out of these moves as a reason to do them.
As we stated yesterday, what it does do with both is create a roster certainty for next season, important on a team that still has a number of key free agents-to-be and seems to be at its peak in terms of challenging for a Super Bowl. Michael Floyd will be a free agent and figures to command big dollars. If the Cardinals lose him, at least they know they (probably) still have Fitz to anchor the receiving corps.
Fitz and Palmer had a great connection last year and Fitz had a rebirth of sorts after a couple of down years over the last three seasons with lesser QB play. The team obviously sees a window of opportunity here to make a run at a Super Bowl.
Quarterback Drew Stanton’s contract expired at the end of the 2015 season, but he didn’t wade into the free agent market in March.
Stanton re-signed with the Cardinals for two years before free agency opened, leaving him set to serve as Carson Palmer’s backup for a fourth season. Stanton’s deal includes $4.5 million in guaranteed money, but no immediate chance to lead the offense.
He told Alex Marvez and Rick Neuheisel of Sirius XM NFL Radio that being in a place he and his family enjoy was more important in the short term and that the Cardinals have told him he’ll have a chance to be the next starter in Arizona.
Palmer will turn 37 this year. Stanton knows the offense well and would be in a great situation with a group of WRs who are both established yet still seem to have some upside. The big question is how long will Palmer stick around and perform at a high level.
It's fair to say Carson Palmer's finger's been a little more of an issue than he's let on. Good news: It looked better in practice this week.
Friday, January 22, 2016, 4:44pm
Thursday, January 21, 2016, 5:50pm
Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 5:55pm
Friday, January 15, 2016, 5:23pm
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 6:07pm
Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 7:15pm
Friday, January 1, 2016, 6:26pm
Friday, December 25, 2015, 10:17pm
Thursday, December 24, 2015, 6:12pm
Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 6:11pm
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