Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer announces retirement

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer announced his retirement Tuesday after 15 NFL seasons.

"Over the years, I've had teammates who decided to hang it up and I would ask them how they knew when it was time to walk away," Palmer, 38, wrote in a letter making the announcement. "The answer was almost always the same: You just know.

"For me that time is now. Why? Quite simply, I just know."

Palmer's 2017 season -- and ultimately his career -- ended when he broke his left arm on Oct. 22 in London in a game against the Los Angeles Rams.

"For 15 years I have been lucky enough to play quarterback in the NFL and it has been the most incredible experience of my life," Palmer wrote. "There wasn't one second that I took it for granted or failed to appreciate what a tremendous privilege it is."

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Carson Palmer through the years
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Carson Palmer through the years
University of Southern California Trojans quarterback Carson Palmer passes to R. Jay Soward for 10 yards against the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the first quarter of their game November 28 in Los Angeles. USC defeated Notre Dame 10-0. DM/ELD/AA
USC quarterback Carson Palmer poses with the Heisman Trophy after being named the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner, December 14, 2002 at The Yale Club in New York. Palmer is the fifth winner from USC, which is given annually to college football's most valuable player. "I couldn't be prouder to take this trophy back to share with my team mates in L.A.," Palmer said. "This award is every bit theirs as it is mine." REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Carson Palmer holds up his jersey from the Cincinnati Bengals after they selected him first in the National Football League draft, in New York on April 26, 2003. Palmer is a quarterback from USC. REUTERS/Chip East CME/HB
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter of their NFL game in Baltimore, Maryland November 6, 2005. REUTERS/Joe Giza
New Orleans Saints quarter back Drew Brees congratulates Cincinnati Bengals quarter back Carson Palmer (9) after their NFL football game in New Orleans November 19, 2006. The Bengals won the game 31-16. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES)
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis (L) and starting quarterback Carson Palmer watch as their team scores an extra point after a first half touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during their NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, September 10, 2006. REUTERS/Dave Kaup (UNITED STATES)
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer (9) meet at midfield following their NFL football game at Lambeau Field Green Bay, Wisconsin September 20, 2009. The Bengals defeated the Packers 31-24. REUTERS/Allen Fredrickson (UNITED STATES SPORT FOOTBALL)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer (R) talks on the sidelines with his brother, Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer during the second quarter of their NFL preseason game versus the Indianapolis Colts in Indianapolis September 2, 2010. REUTERS/Brent Smith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer warms up before his NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Oakland, California October 23, 2011. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT)
Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) calls a play at the line against the San Diego Chargers during their Thursday Night NFL football game in San Diego, California, November 10 , 2011. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
Dec 1, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) passes in the fourth quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The Philadelphia Eagles won the game 24-21. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 9, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer reacts as he is taken off the field on a cart after suffering an injury in the second half against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles (5) shakes hands with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) after a game at the Edward Jones Dome. The Cardinals defeated the Rams 27-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) leads his team out of the tunnel for warm ups against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sideline during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on November 19, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
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Palmer passed for 46,247 yards and 294 touchdowns against 187 interceptions during a career that included stints with the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders in addition to playing his final five seasons with Arizona. The yardage and touchdowns both rank 12th in NFL history, and Palmer stands 11th with 3,941 career completions.

Palmer was the No. 1 overall pick by Cincinnati in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is also considering retirement, said he relished being Palmer's teammate.

"He's been an unbelievable teammate," Fitzgerald said. "I've seen him grow as a player, picking up this system and having some of the best numbers of his career."

Bruce Arians, who retired as Cardinals' coach on Monday, appreciated Palmer's contributions.

"It's been fantastic, some of the best (years) of his career, some of the best of my career," Arians said of Palmer's time in Arizona. "His numbers and the wins. His leadership. It's just a shame he had the knee (injury) and now the arm, or I think he'd have done wondrous things in his time here."

Palmer submitted his retirement letter while on vacation with his family. He detailed what he will miss most by no longer being an NFL player.

"I'll especially miss the grind," Palmer wrote. "It's the part I don't think people fully appreciate, maybe because many NFL players make the game look so easy and effortless. The mental and physical preparation it takes to compete -- week in and week out, year in and year out -- is draining and grueling but has always been my favorite part."

Palmer was the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner while at Southern Cal.

42 PHOTOS
The best photos from the NFL season
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The best photos from the NFL season
NASHVILLE, TN- SEPTEMBER 10: Safety Karl Joseph #42 of the Oakland Raiders deflects a pass intended for wide receiver Eric Decker #87 of the Tennessee Titans in the first half at Nissan Stadium on September 10, 2017 In Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) )
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 07: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs stiff arms Duron Harmon #30 of the New England Patriots as he runs for a 4-yard rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 7, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: DeShone Kizer #7 of the Cleveland Browns rushes for a touchdown in the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by Eric Reid #35 of the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 11: Jerick McKinnon #21 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball in the first quarter of the game against the New Orleans Saints on September 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Tight end David Njoku #85 of the Cleveland Browns celebrates his touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr /Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: J.J. Nelson #14 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a juggling catch in the second quarter of a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 11: Running back Melvin Gordon #28 of the Los Angeles Chargers dives over strong safety Justin Simmons #31 of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 11, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24: Corey Grant of the Jacksonville Jaguars is tackled Tony Jefferson of the Baltimore Ravens during the NFL International Series match between Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium on September 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 08: Leonard Fournette #27 of the Jacksonville Jaguars dives into the end zone for a 2 yard touchdown in the second quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks for an open receiver in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 08: Will Fuller #15 of the Houston Texans makes a reception for a touchdown as he slips behind Terrance Mitchell of the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 15: Tevin Coleman #26 of the Atlanta Falcons stretches for a touchdown against Kiko Alonso #47 and Nate Allen #29 of the Miami Dolphins at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 15: Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets is seen fumbling the ball after what was originally called a touchdown against strong safety Duron Harmon #30 and cornerback Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter of their game at MetLife Stadium on October 15, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Replay Official reviewed the runner broke the plane ruling, and the play was reversed and called a fumble. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Marshon Lattimore #23 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass thrown to Golden Tate #15 of the Detroit Lions at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Lions 52-38. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: The New Orleans Saints defense celebrates during the second half of a game against the Detroit Lions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is upended by linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis #57 of the Kansas City Chiefs after a catch over the middle during the second half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images )
CARSON, CA - OCTOBER 22: Adrian Phillips #31 of the Los Angeles Chargers attempts an interception on a pass to A.J. Derby #83 of the Denver Broncos during the third quarter at StubHub Center on October 22, 2017 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 26: A cat runs on the field during the fourth quarter of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on October 26, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 22: Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a touchdown pass as he is defended by Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter of a game at Gillette Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 29: Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints catches a pass as he is defended by Eddie Jackson #39 of the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 29, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 06: Brett Hundley #7 of the Green Bay Packers avoids a tackle attempt by Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions in the third quarter at Lambeau Field on November 6, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs passes the ball under pressure from Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys and Brian Price #92 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter of a football game at AT&T Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 12: Darius Slay #23 of the Detroit Lions makes a tackle against Rashard Higgins #81 of the Cleveland Browns during the first half at Ford Field on November 12, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 19: Preston Smith #94 of the Washington Redskins hits Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints and is called for a roughing the passer penalty at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 19, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball to score a touchdown against outside linebacker Bruce Carter #54 of the New York Jets during the second quarter of the game at MetLife Stadium on November 26, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 26: Trey Flowers #98 and Kyle Van Noy #53 of the New England Patriots recover a fumble during the third quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Andrew Whitworth #77 of the Los Angeles Rams runs onto the field prior to the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Byron Marshall #34 of the Washington Redskins leaps over Orlando Scandrick #32 of the Dallas Cowboys on a run in the first quarter of a football game at AT&T Stadium on November 30, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 03: Logan Ryan #26 of the Tennessee Titans swats away a pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans during the first half at Nissan Stadium on December 3, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 3: Dion Lewis #33 of the New England Patriots stiff arms Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter on December 3, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07: Tommylee Lewis #11 of the New Orleans Saints dives for a touchdown as he is tackled by De'Vondre Campbell #59 of the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 7, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 10: Colton Schmidt #6 of the Buffalo Bills walks the field before a game against the Indianapolis Colts on December 10, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 10: Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers runs for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 10: Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers leaps into the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 31-24. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - DECEMBER 11: Danny Amendola #80 of the New England Patriots fails to complete a touchdown against the defense of T.J. McDonald #22 of the Miami Dolphins in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on December 11, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 16: Chicago Bears wide receiver Markus Wheaton #12 juggles the ball for an incomplete pass against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Ford Field on December 16, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17: Damiere Byrd #18 of the Carolina Panthers catches a touchdown pass against Josh Hawkins #28 of the Green Bay Packers in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 17, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 24: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots breaks up a pass intended for LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills during the second quarter of a game at Gillette Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 24: Tight end Evan Engram #88 of the New York Giants is unable to catch the pass against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 31: Darrius Heyward-Bey #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs up field for a 29 yard touchdown run in the first quarter during the game against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on December 31, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Wide receiver Jaron Brown #13 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates his 25 yard touchdown catch against cornerback Byron Maxwell #41 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter at CenturyLink Field on December 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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