Cardinals' 35th season in Arizona: Ring of Honor member Carson Palmer wants team to win
Carson Palmer still watches Arizona Cardinals games from his home in Idaho. He still follows his former team as closely as he can. On his occasional visits to the Phoenix area, he enjoys interacting with fans who recognize the former NFL quarterback wherever he is.
And Palmer, who was added to the Cardinals' Ring of Honor three years ago, will come back again if the team makes it to Super Bowl 57. The next Cardinals game he sees in person will be his first since September 2019.
"If the Cards are in it, 100 percent I'll be there," Palmer said Wednesday at the end of an interview with the Arizona Republic.
This NFL season, which ends with the Super Bowl in Glendale, the Arizona Republic visits with some of the names and faces from the Cardinals' 35 seasons in Arizona. These days Palmer, who was 38-21-1 in his five seasons with the Cardinals and played 15 in all with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Cardinals, is enjoying life in Sun Valley, Idaho, with his family.
Here's more from our interview with Palmer, who retired after the 2017 season. A big fan of the Cardinals to this day, he watched the highlights of last week's wild win in Las Vegas multiple times and said as a fan now, he can't wait to watch the team's next game.
Q: So let's just start with what you're up to now. What's going on out there in Idaho?
A: "Yeah, still living in Idaho, chasing kids around some days, coaching my oldest boy's eighth-grade football team. And working. I joined up with a buddy here in the real estate business and we're doing some real estate development. We started a small company called Silent Water Real Estate, you can check it out, it's silentwater.com. We've got a building we're working on, multifamily building, downtown Sun Valley. Getting excited going through the permitting process with the city and getting our plans all together. So really excited about our buildings. It's a condo unit with retail space on the ground floor. And we've got seven workforce housing units within the building. So it's a really exciting project that we've been working on for the last couple of years."
Q: And you talked about your family. Nice to, after a lengthy career to be able to spend all that time and really go back to become the dad that you want to be for them and just be around them so much?
A: "Yeah, you know, when when you're playing, with all the commitments that football has, it's not just game days on Sundays and some practices during the week. It's a full-time job.
"You really can't coach or go to daughter's dance recitals or horseback riding competitions, baseball practice. Unfortunately, you miss all of those things because football's really consuming. And so being able to coach and be at every practice, and be at every game and drop-offs at school, you know, I never hardly ever other than on Tuesdays, taken my kids to school or picked them up from school ... But now I try to do it just about every day. So getting to be a part of those conversations in the morning. For so long, I was up before the kids, up and out of the house before the kids were gone. So I missed out on all those opportunities, and just really blessed to not have to miss any more of those and my kids are at such a fun age that I get to be a part of all that now."
Q: Let's go back to the Ring of Honor ceremony (2019). What were you thinking about down on the field? What was going through your mind as Michael Bidwill is making the speech about you and your career and your work in the community?
A: "What sticks out most is just the fans, the fans that came to that game, you know, the welcoming I got from them. And just to be out on the field one more time and although you know you're not performing like I loved to do in front of our fans, you're still being honored in front of the fans. I had a kind of realization that this is it, this is the last time. And it was just such an honor. Such a cool moment for myself, my mom and dad were there up in the stands, my kids were down there on the field, you know, just kind of some closure. That was my last opportunity to be standing down there on the field in front of those fans.
"But to have that kind of closure, this is my last chance to say thank you, to say some words that I've always wanted to say and share some feelings that I'd always wanted to share with them. It was a great platform to do that. And I'm just so thankful to the Bidwill family and Steve Keim giving me that opportunity. And that great honor means the world to me."
Q: What would you say you're most proud of over your your football career? The Heisman Trophy, being the first overall draft pick, a long career in the NFL, is there anything that stands out?
A: "I think I helped set a standard wherever I was. I was always the gym rat type. Always watched probably more film than I should have. Always tried to carry myself the right way on the field, always tried to carry myself the right way in the community and I don't think I ever swayed in that throughout my 15 years. I think I understood what it means to be the quarterback in your community, what it means to be a leader in your community and in the locker room, and I just, I'm proud of the way I carried myself."