The Arizona Cardinals’ history dates all the way back to 1920 when they were based out of Chicago. After Chicago, they moved to St. Louis where they stayed through the 1987 season. In 1988 they moved to Phoenix and were named the Phoenix Cardinals up until 1994 when they changed their name to the Arizona Cardinals.
Since moving to Arizona there have been a lot of star players that have left a legacy on the organization. Let’s take a look at the five biggest legends that have played for the Cardinals since they moved West.
5. Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer was traded from the Oakland Raiders before the start of the 2013 season, and he found some success with the team. Three of the four seasons weren’t great with the Cardinals, but he will also be remembered for what he did during the 2015 season.
During the season, Palmer threw for 4,671 yards, 35 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He led the Cardinals all the way to the NFL Championship Game, where they lost to the Carolina Panthers. Who knows what would have happened if Palmer came to the team earlier, but he still was a good player when he was a part of the team.
4. Patrick Peterson
The Cardinals selected Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick during the 2011 NFL draft. On Peterson’s first play during a preseason game against the Chargers, he picked off Philip Rivers and returned it for a touchdown. Even though it was only preseason, it was a good sign of things to come.
Peterson has been a lockdown cornerback for the Cardinals since entering the league. His best season was in 2012 when he had seven interceptions and five fumble recoveries. So far during his career, he has had 25 interceptions and one touchdown.
3. Kurt Warner
Kurt Warner signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals in 2005 and quickly became the starter. Warner struggled to start the season and was eventually injured. He did come back later in the season, but the rest of the year was mostly uneventful. The season everyone remembers for Warner was in 2008.
During the regular season, Warner finished with a 9-7 record and there weren’t many expectations during the playoffs. During the postseason, Warner led the Cardinals all the way to the Super Bowl. If it wouldn’t have been for a late touchdown by the Pittsburgh Steelers, it could have been a Super Bowl–winning season.
2. Pat Tillman
Pat Tillman is a Cardinals legend, but none of it really has to do with what he did on the field. Tillman was selected with the 226th pick in the 1998 season by the Cardinals. As a rookie, he started 10 games, and during his career he ended up starting 37.
Tillman was offered a three-year contract extension by the Cardinals after the 2001 season, but he turned that down to join the U.S. Army. After completing training, Tillman shipped off to Afghanistan to fight for the United States of America. On April 22, 2004, Tillman was killed by friendly fire that happened because of the intensity of a gunfight. Tillman was enjoying the NFL life, but gave it all away to make the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life to the United States.
1. Larry Fitzgerald
When people think of the Cardinals the first person that usually comes to mind is Larry Fitzgerald, and that’s not because he is still an active player.
Fitzgerald was drafted third overall by the Cardinals during the 2004 draft. There are a lot of expectations that come with that pick, but he has lived right up to them. Heading into the 2020 season, Fitzgerald has played in 250 games catching 1,378 yards for 17,083 yards, and 120 touchdowns. Even though there have been many different quarterbacks that have thrown him the ball, he has been a pro’s pro.