An extension for Larry Fitzgerald is the Arizona Cardinals biggest need
Published: July 05, 2011 @ 8:59am
When I was younger my mother would always repeat the phrase ‘is it a want, or is it a need?' At the time I found it about as profound as the adult me found Transformers 3, nothing but pointless noise with little real value. I mean come on, that new black Suns Charles Barkley jersey was both a need and a want. The Sega Genesis with NFL 94, where you could trade players for the first time, and NBA Jam Tournament Edition was a definite need because of just how much I longed for it. Those LA Gear sneakers that lit up had to be mine because they'd up my cool factor at school with the popular kids in the parachute pants. As you could tell, my style and sense of what was truly needed was just a slight bit off.
As I've grown older Momma Espo's advice has begun to carry more weight. Once I went out on my own and the dollars I earned were the ones paying for those ‘wants and needs' the delineation became quite clear. A roof over my head? A definite need. That extra video game system with the new NBA Jam? Unfortunately a bigger want than a New York media member starting Steve Nash to the Knicks rumors.
When the NFL lockout is lifted and the league has a truncated free agency period that closely resembles one of those scenes in a movie where dozens of women fight over one wedding dress, the Arizona Cardinals will have to heed my mother's advice. They'll have to figure out what is a need, and what is a want.
Many will argue a linebacker who can put pressure on the quarterback is a need. Nope, it's a want. Offensive line? Closer to a need, but still not the most important thing on the list. Adding a quarterback falls in the need column but that isn't even the top priority.
Fitzgerald is the face of the franchise and the only player on the Cardinals who transcends the local market. He's a nationally recognized name with a smile that is a marketer's dream. Oh, and did I mention he's one of the two best receivers in football?
Entering the season without extending Fitz would be a bigger distraction than a Katy Perry inspired outfit at a church picnic. Fans, coaches and his teammates, not to mention Fitzgerald himself, will wonder what the future holds instead of trying to focus on what the present has to offer.
By locking up -- is it still too soon to use that term in a positive manner? -- Fitzgerald to a long term deal it shows the franchise's commitment to the future and can go a long, long way to officially retiring the notion of the ‘same old Cardinals'. (The question is, does it get a spot in the ring of honor since it's hung around for so long?)
When the lockout is lifted there are two needs. One, re-signing Fitzgerald and one-b, finding a quarterback. Like the shoes, jersey and video game systems from when I was a kid, everything else is just a want and nothing more.