Arizona Cardinals president Bidwill on Larry Fitzgerald contract: ‘We should be able to work this out’
Of the many story lines surrounding the Arizona Cardinals as they head into the offseason, the one that is dominating the headlines — at least early on — is Larry Fitzgerald’s contract.
Fitzgerald, the franchise’s leader in most relevant category for a receiver, is scheduled to count $23.6 million against the team’s 2015 salary cap, which is a number no one expects the team to be comfortable with. So, the team will either have to restructure the veteran’s contract or face the idea of life without the future Hall-of-Famer.
A guest of KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on News 92.3 FM Friday, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill addressed the topic of Fitzgerald’s contract and if the eight-time Pro Bowler will be back in Arizona next season.
“I think he will,” Bidwill said. “We’ve said all along that we want to see him retire a Cardinal, and that’s many years off, and I’m sure we’ll get it worked out.
“We’ve had a couple of conversations that I think were productive and so we’ll continue those discussions, or at least (general manager) Steve Keim and his agent will.”
This past season, Fitzgerald caught 63 passes for 784 yards and two touchdowns. They represented some of the lowest totals in his career, though many would attribute his “down” season to shaky quarterback play that was brought on by injuries.
In multiple interviews since the season ended Fitzgerald has been asked about future, and for the most part he has continued to say he would like to stay in Arizona but understands the NFL is a business and that something is going to have to be done with his contract. He has never expressed a desire to leave, and given that the Cardinals won 11 games last season and appear poised for a good amount of success in the near future, it may not make a lot of sense to.
Bidwill said the impression he gets is that the 31-year-old wideout, who has played his entire 11-year NFL career in Arizona, is not looking to skip town.
“I think this is home, I think he loves Arizona, I think he loves the Cardinals, I think he loves what we’re doing,” he said. “We’re a good football team. Without getting into too much, I think it’s perfect for us and it’s perfect for him, and we should be able to work this out.”