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NFL.com writer would like to see Larry Fitzgerald traded to the Patriots
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NFL.com writer would like to see Larry Fitzgerald traded to the Patriots

The Arizona Cardinals cannot escape Larry Fitzgerald trade rumors, even with a 5-1 record.

The latest news outlet to bring up the idea was NFL.com, who suggests the Cardinals send Fitzgerald, 31, to the New England Patriots in an article titled, “Six trades we’d love to see before NFL trade deadline.”

Even with the Cardinals standing atop the NFC West, there are valid reasons for a swap. Fitzgerald realizes his contract will have to be addressed after the season, as he carries an untenable $23.6 million salary-cap number for 2015. The Patriots reportedly “sent out feelers” to gauge the possibility of acquiring Fitzgerald two offseasons ago.

Fitzgerald’s legs looked as fresh in August as they did in his prime, but his targets have dwindled since Bruce Arians removed him from the “X” receiver role. Now that Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington are enjoying breakout seasons and rookie John Brown is emerging, Fitzgerald is underutilized in Arians’ offense. I believe he would flourish as Tom Brady’s first legitimate outside threat since the last of Randy Moss’ glory years. The Cardinals could get something in return now if they have reason to believe he would walk in the offseason. — Chris Wesseling

Wesseling did not give a suggestion of who New England should send in return.

In six games this season, Fitzgerald has 23 receptions from 39 targets for a total of 283 yards. His only touchdown of the year came on Oct. 12 in the win against Washington.

Fitzgerald is tied with Michael Floyd for most targets and most receiving yards on the Cardinals, and is second behind Andre Ellington in receptions.

The Patriots’ top receiver this season is Julian Edelman, who has 44 receptions on 65 targets and and 453 yards. Rob Gronkowski leads New England in touchdowns with four.