Reactions were mixed as the Arizona Cardinals announced June 4 that they will add a new name to their Ring of Honor at State Farm Stadium.
Former starting quarterback Carson Palmer will be inducted September 29.
Palmer played five seasons in Arizona (2013-17) and his .642 winning percentage is the best for a starting quarterback in team history. Acquired by the Cardinals in a trade with Oakland prior to the 2013 season, Palmer holds the franchise’s single-season records for passing yards (4,671), touchdowns (35) and passer rating (104.6), all of which he set in 2015.
In a video of a call with Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, released by the team, Palmer was shocked but honored to be selected.
“It’s so hard to fathom and believe, that it still just hasn’t quite set in,” Palmer said. “You know, I don’t think I quite grasp the magnitude of it and how special it truly is.”
He said he had not told his children as of June 6, but added his family members remain fans of the team despite his retirement after the 2017 season.
“I’m a Cardinal. We’re Cardinal fans,” Palmer said. “My kids don’t know. I mean, they don’t — they have no idea. They think it’s a ring I’m putting on my finger, like a wedding ring.”
Cardinals fans were quick to question the team’s choice, however, with stars like former running back Larry Centers and wide receiver Anquan Boldin mentioned as better choices.
“Carson Palmer had one really good season with Arizona, and that was enough to warrant a spot in the Cardinals Ring of Honor,” JJ Zachariason said on Twitter.
Also on Twitter, Andrew Nicla said, “Apparently, being an above average QB is all it takes to have your name forever etched into the history of one of the NFL’s oldest franchises, next to people like Pat Tillman and Kurt Warner.”
Palmer played seven years, the majority of his career, for the Cincinnati Bengals, who took him with the first overall pick in the 2003 draft. He then spent two years with the Raiders before finishing his playing career in Arizona.
Palmer will become the 18th member of the Cardinals Ring of Honor, the creation of which coincided with the opening of State Farm Stadium in 2006. He will join Jim Hart and Kurt Warner as the only quarterbacks in the group. The other 15 members are: Charles W. Bidwill, Sr. (owner), Jimmy Conzelman (coach), T Dan Dierdorf, HB John “Paddy” Driscoll, HB/DB Marshall Goldberg, WR Roy Green, CB Dick “Night Train” Lane, HB Ollie Matson, HB Ernie Nevers, S Pat Tillman, HB Charley Trippi, CB Roger Wehrli, CB Aeneas Williams, S Adrian Wilson and S Larry Wilson.
Reactions from former teammates were positive.
“I’m elated for him,” Larry Fitzgerald said. “He was the biggest reason we had so much success over that five-year stretch. He was prolific.”