Arizona Cardinals have proposed, now it's Larry Fitzgerald's decision
Published: August 02, 2011 @ 8:03am
The Arizona Cardinals usually play contract negotiations pretty close to the chest. They rarely talk about ongoing discussions about contracts. They never disclose the terms of contracts and they aren't known for their candor in the media about exactly what their plan is. So why exactly did general manager Rod Graves take to the airwaves of any media outlet willing to listen on Monday to let fans know signing Larry Fitzgerald to the biggest contract in team history is his priority?
The reasoning is simple. It's the Jumbotron Proposal theory. You've seen those guys at sporting events whose idea of romance is popcorn, a large coke and watching sweaty men on the field or court. The ones who get on the big screen, drop to one knee and ask the girl that is out of their league to marry them. They do it because either they don't understand what women want or because they lack confidence that she'll say yes. Thus, they ask her in front of a crowd of thousands full well knowing it's extremely difficult to reject someone with an audience watching.
That's exactly what it looks like Graves and the Cardinals are doing to Fitz and his agent. And you know what, it's the right move.
The Cards have done everything that Fitzgerald could ask for this offseason. They added the most talked about quarterback this year in Kevin Kolb who has the potential to solidify the position for the next decade. Along with Kolb they added proven offensive lineman and a tight end that will help take the pressure off the receiving corps. They've also added pieces to the defense. They've shown more of a commitment to turning things around than Robert Downey Jr. in the 2000s . It's now time for Fitz to show a commitment to them.
The face of the franchise has said everything right over the last few years telling anyone who asks that Arizona is his home and where he wants to be as long as they're willing to have him. Well, the Cards have made it clear they want you Larry and now the ball is in your court.
If the Cardinals weren't openly admitting that they are willing to make Fitzgerald the highest paid wide receiver in the game one could understand the Pro Bowl wide receiver wanting to test free agency. The problem is, his current team is willing to pay him as much as anyone else. That means getting a deal done before the end of the preseason shouldn't be a problem. Of course, unless he really doesn't want to stay in the Valley.
Losing Fitzgerald would be the third biggest loss in Arizona sports history behind Super Bowl XLIII and the 1993 NBA Finals. It would certainly be the biggest player to leave the Valley in his prime. It would be something that could cripple the good will and momentum the Cardinals have build over the past five years and could mark the beginning of the end of Ken Whisenhunt's tenure in the desert.
The Cardinals have proposed to Fitz and made it clear in the most public way possible that they're willing to commit for the long haul. Now the decision is up to him. He couldn't possibly reject them with everyone watching, could he?