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Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald sign 1-year extensions

Franchise legend Larry Fitzgerald has already linked his future NFL plans to those of Carson Palmer.

Now the team is putting it in writing.

Arizona has rewarded the two aging stars with one-year contract extensions, the Cardinals announced Friday.

Palmer's extra year is worth $24.35 million with a $6.75 million signing bonus, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The quarterback is now under team control through 2018, while the next two seasons are guaranteed.

When Fitzgerald stated in May that he had "no idea" if this season would be his last, he was merely acknowledging that he has reached the year-to-year stage of a Hall of Fame career.

Although he went on to clarify, via NFL Total Access, that he "still has a lot of good football" left in his body, that failed to quell speculation that he might walk away from the game after the 2016 season.

Friday's extension, which Rapoport notes is worth $11 million, is a sign that he and Palmer plan to lead one of the NFL's model franchises through the 2017 season.

It's no surprise that the Cardinals committed to Fitzgerald, a peerless team leader and the face of the franchise for the past decade. The 13-year veteran has successfully transitioned from All-Pro "X" receiver working outside the numbers to Pro Bowl slot receiver inside the numbers. The 2015 season represented his finest work since 2011, featuring a career-high 109 receptions as Palmer's go-to target in key situations.

Palmer's pact is his second extension in less than two years. It's also a vote of confidence for a 36-year-old passer who followed an MVP-caliber season with a disastrous seven-turnover performance while playing through an index finger injury that altered his touch in the NFC Championship Game.

Coach Bruce Arians came to his quarterback's defense after the meltdown, emphasizing that there is "no doubt" in his mind that Palmer will return "with more vengeance" than the year prior when he was coming back from an ACL tear.

"Just the experience. Having failed," Arians explained in late January. "Last year, the knee was the driving force. This year, he's already working like crazy because of the way it ended.

"That's what you want. You want your guys back. When he's back working like that, the rest of them will be back working like that. As a coach, you don't have to say anything. It's just get going again and see if we can reach that pinnacle again and play better."

Palmer and Fitzgerald have enjoyed a symbiotic effect over the past two seasons, breathing new life into one another's careers with the help of Arians' offensive mastery. It's fitting that three iconic figures are tied together on a NFC powerhouse for at least two more shots at the Lombardi Trophy.

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