The San Francisco 49ers have plenty of questions to answer about their roster in 2017, but they are not alone in the NFC West. The Arizona Cardinals still don’t know what Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald plan on doing for the 2017 season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport is reporting both players are considering retirement this offseason.
The team is hoping for an answer by mid-February, but really they just need something before free agency gets going in mid-March. They would have huge holes to fill at both positions. Fitzgerald recently said he has pretty much made up his mind. He had previously said Palmer’s decision might impact his depending on how the Cardinals quarterback situation plays out, so that will be something to watch.
I would be surprised if both retired, and I expect both to hang around for another year. But there are plenty of questions at the quarterback position, whether or not Carson Palmer decides to retire. He is due $15.5 million in base salary for 2017, and it becomes fully guaranteed if he is on the Cardinals roster five days after the Super Bowl.
If Palmer does not return, the Cardinals would likely push hard for Tony Romo. Colin Kaepernick is someone that could be on their radar as well if he opts out or is cut by the 49ers. They would also likely need to invest in the position in the draft, so they are a team that could impact the 49ers in a lot of different ways.
I still have very little idea what happens to Kaepernick this offseason. We have not heard what Kyle Shanahan thinks of him. John Lynch will be the 49ers’ GM, but all indications are that Shanahan will have final say on the 53-man roster. More importantly, Shanahan’s offensive experience means he will have final say on the quarterback, in particular. My guess is Kap is gone one way or another, but from there, who knows where he lands.