PHOENIX — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is retiring after 15 NFL seasons.
Palmer, who turned 38 last week, made the announcement in an open letter released Tuesday by the Cardinals. Palmer missed the last nine games of what would be his final season with a broken left arm.
He called his long professional career “the most incredible experience of my life.”
The statement came one day after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians announced his retirement. Arians and Palmer spent the last five seasons together.
Palmer was a Heisman Trophy winner at USC and the No. 1-overall pick by Cincinnati in 2002. He threw for 46,247 yards, 12th-most in NFL history, in a career with the Bengals, Oakland and Arizona.
“When I entered the league, I was a 23-year-old kid,” Palmer wrote. “I’m leaving a 38-year-old husband and father of four with memories and experiences that I will treasure for the rest of my life. And like most things in life, it feels like it all passed in a blink of an eye.”
Acquired by the Cardinals for only a sixth-round pick and a swap of seventh-rounders, Palmer had some of his greatest success in Arizona.
The 2015 season may have been his best. He set single-season franchise records and career highs for yards passing (4,671) and touchdowns (35) while leading the Cardinals to a 13-3 record, second-best in the NFC. He won his only playoff game in four tries that season, in overtime over Green Bay.
Palmer twice came back from significant knee injuries.
“My family and I are beyond grateful for everything the game has given us as well as the love and support we’ve felt from fans everywhere we’ve been. That’s been especially true in Arizona, where we never expected to end up but wound up being such a special place for us.”
Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley, through Twitter, congratulated Palmer on “one hell of a career.”
“My favorite all-time teammate is walking away on his terms,” Shipley said. “Not many people have that opportunity. It’s been an honor and a privilege to block for you and be your teammate. Enjoy retirement brother!”
Bengals give Lewis 2-year extension
CINCINNATI — Coach Marvin Lewis got a two-year contract extension Tuesday, yet two more chances to try to get the Cincinnati Bengals that playoff victory that has eluded him for 15 seasons.
The agreement came after a second straight losing season and two days of discussions with owner Mike Brown. Lewis has the second-longest active coaching tenure in the NFL, behind Bill Belichick’s 18 seasons with New England.
Unlike Belichick, who has won five Super Bowls and made two other appearances in the title game, Lewis is 0-7 in the playoffs, the worst such coaching record in NFL history. The Bengals have yet to win a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in league history.
Gruden shows interest in Raiders head coaching job
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Jon Gruden says he hopes he’s a candidate to return for a second stint as coach of the Oakland Raiders and believes a final decision will be made next week.
Gruden made his most specific comments in an interview Tuesday with the Bay Area News Group about the opening in Oakland created when the Raiders fired Jack Del Rio following a disappointing six-win season.
Gruden said that he understands interviews will be conducted this week. When asked if he was a candidate he responded: “Well, I think I am being considered, yes. I hope I’m a candidate.”
The Raiders are not commenting on the search beyond a statement issued Sunday night from owner Mark Davis thanking Del Rio for his tenure.
Bills fans flooding Dalton’s foundation with donations
CINCINNATI — Giddy Buffalo fans are making a surge in donations to Andy Dalton’s foundation, their way of thanking the Bengals quarterback for his role in the Bills’ long-awaited playoff appearance.
Dalton’s foundation reported Tuesday it has received more than $170,000 in donations since the Bengals beat the Ravens 31-27 on Sunday . Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass with 44 seconds left to eliminate the Ravens and open a spot for the Bills.
The Bills got the final AFC wild-card berth and ended their 17-year postseason drought, the longest among North America’s four major professional sports.
Bills fans are thanking Dalton by donating to his foundation. He was surprised and thankful for the reaction by Bills fans.
“I think I’m the hottest guy in Buffalo right now,” Dalton said Monday. “According to my Twitter, I think everybody’s loving us right now. Obviously that’s a crazy fan base and they’re all pretty excited.”
Dalton posted a video on his Twitter account Tuesday expressing his gratitude, explaining his foundation’s work and encouraging more donations.
“Let’s keep it going,” he said.
While the Bills’ long streak of playoff futility is over, the Bengals’ streak continues. They haven’t won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of postseason futility in NFL history. They’ve lost all seven of their playoff games since that season, including an NFL-record five straight first-round defeats from 2011-15.
The Bengals missed out on the playoffs for a second straight season, going 7-9 . They won their last two games, knocking the Lions and Ravens out of the playoff race.