Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell called the news about Carson “great.”
“You can’t win without a quarterback in this league and Carson’s been working hard. He looks like he found the fountain of youth. The guy never gets old. He just looks better and better each day. Going against him I just see his movement in the pocket. It’s a big-time signing. I think that’s really good for us forward. It gives us a few more years of certainty,” Campbell said.
Campbell also reacted positively to Fitzgerald’s extension, describing the wideout as one of his idols.
“That’s a guy I’ve always looked up to and I have so much respect for. He’s been my role model since Day 1. He let me in on the secret a couple day earlier so I knew about that one for a couple of days. He’s just a great guy. He’s very deserving,” Campbell added.
Both players are coming off some of their best and most productive NFL seasons.
Last season, Palmer threw for a career-best 4,671 yards and a career-best 35 touchdowns. Palmer joined the Cardinals in 2013 after being acquired in a trade from the Oakland Raiders. Since coming to Arizona, Palmer has a 29-9 record as a starter, including a 19-3 mark over the past two seasons. A Heisman Trophy winner at USC, Palmer was the No. 1 overall pick by Cincinnati in the 2003 draft.
Fitzgerald caught a career-high 109 passes for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns. Entering his 13th season in Arizona, Fitzgerald was originally taken by the Cardinals as the third overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft out of Pittsburgh.
Orlando Pace, offensive tackle
St. Louis Rams, 1997-2008
Chicago Bears, 2009
Certainly, Pace and the Rams winning Super Bowl XXXIV was the high-water mark for both the player and the franchise. Pace was three years into what would become a dominant career — and the first of his five All-Pro awards and seven Pro Bowl invites — as a cog in the “Greatest Show on Turf” offense that changed the way the NFL viewed the passing game starting in that 1999 season.
Let’s amend that slightly and add one more moment to Pace’s mantel. Two seasons later, he was at the peak of his career when the Rams rebounded from a disappointing 2000 season to put up even more incredible numbers in 2001. They lost two games by a total of 10 points and won 10 games by double digits and made a second Super Bowl in a three-year span.
Pace became a critical factor in the NFC championship game against the Philadelphia Eagles, protecting a banged-up Kurt Warner, who was nursing a rib injury. The game plan was to run the ball more than usual, and Pace led the way for a different style of Rams attack until he was rolled up on by defensive tackle Paul Grasmanis. After missing a little less than a quarter with an MCL sprain, Pace returned to pave the way for two second-half 1-yard TD runs by Marshall Faulk, who rushed for 159 yards on 31 carries — much of it behind Pace.
“People overlook how tough he was,” former Rams offensive coordinator and head coach Mike Martz told Shutdown Corner in July. “But that’s the part that never got overlooked around here.”
The Rams would overpower the Eagles that day, and though they lost the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots, Pace’s dominant performance in that All-Pro season — and his gutsy effort in that NFC title game — should not be overlooked. Martz sincerely worried the following week that Pace coming back into the conference title game might have prevented him from playing in the Super Bowl two weeks later.