Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is facing a tough offseason after failing to reach the playoffs. He’s spent his time off the field with a torn rotator cuff and has yet to hear confirmation from Carson Palmer on his return in 2017.
The Pewter Plank
"“His last words were, ‘I’ll let you know soon’, just like Larry (Fitzgerald),” Arians said on Saturday. “The way he played down the stretch makes you believe he’s coming back, but he got beat up pretty good last year. So you never know.”"
Despite that, Arians believes Palmer is just taking time to relax and refocus. Carson Palmer was one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks during the final half of the season. Following the last home game, Palmer sounded like he wanted to return next season.
Fitzgerald is also the reason for Arians recent injury. Fitzgerald gave Arians a celebratory hug after the Cardinals defeated the Seahawks in Seattle which inflicted considerable damage to his rotator cuff.
"“It’s torn completely through,” Arians told The Arizona Republic. “I can still manage a golf swing as long as I keep my elbow down. But the hardest thing is getting the clubs in and out of the bag.”"
Arians 2016 offseason is a very different experience for him than last season. One year ago Bruce Arians and his Cardinals were in the NFC Championship Game. Now he is spending time at his lakefront home contemplating the Cardinals future.
Arians believes his team will be improved next year, guaranteeing that they will tackle better. He believes Robert Nkemdiche will continue to grow as a great player. While the Cardinals played well in the end, they lost two of their first three home games.
Despite the tumultuous offseason, the important decisions are out of Arians’ hands. Palmer’s return is expected but the wear and tear of being a quarterback can change Palmer’s mind. There is also speculation by the media that he is tying his future to the return of Fitzgerald.
Palmer’s performance shows that he still an impact quarterback, and his return will keep the Cardinals in playoff contention. Arians could convince Fitzgerald to return by lessening the physical toll Fitzgerald absorbs as he plays the slot position.
Arians is heading off to the Senior Bowl on Monday. He’s beginning to look for Arizona’s quarterback of the future.