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ESPN’s Chris Carter: Larry Fitzgerald second-best WR in NFL

Larry Fitzgerald hauled in just 71 passes for 798 yards and four touchdowns last year in what was one of the worst seasons of his NFL career.

However, that does not mean the 29-year-old is on the downside of his career or is not the player he was just a few years ago.

Because according to ESPN’s Chris Carter, Fitzgerald is still the second-best receiver in the NFL, trailing only Detroit’s Calvin Johnson.

I’ve known Larry since he was a ball boy with the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s, so I will always have a hard time downgrading him. Even though he says he had his worst season this past year — when he had 71 receptions and finished with only 798 receiving yards — I didn’t see a player who was struggling to do his job. Larry was open plenty during the 2012 season. He just ran into one of those situations where he didn’t have a quarterback who could get him the ball consistently. In a typical season, he would’ve had his customary 1,200 to 1,300 yards easily. With Carson Palmer now under center in Arizona, Larry will get back to looking more like his old self.

The last point is key, and many people believe a competent quarterback is all Fitz needs to get back to the level that saw him record more than 1,000 yards receiving in six out of seven seasons as well as at least six touchdown receptions in his first eight NFL campaigns.