Larry Watch: Doug and Wolf get predictions on Fitzgerald’s future
Jan 30, 2017, 9:30 AM | Updated: 9:31 am
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
The only person who knows whether or not Larry Fitzgerald will play football in 2017 is Fitzgerald himself, and to an extent he may not even know.
Late in the season, the veteran receiver said any decision would have to wait until at least around Feb. 1, when his body started to feel normal and he could more fairly assess where his desire is at.
While the Cardinals and their fans wait for an answer (all hoping he plays, by the way), Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf did the best they could to get some predictions.
And you know what? Most people seem to think Fitzgerald is not done just yet.
“Larry is a little different. He’s been in the league a long time. He’s done everything you can do, obviously outside of winning a ring. But he kind of does his own thing. He has an artistic mind and there’s always a slight chance those guys are not going to do what you expect. He would be comfortable walking away from the game and be happy with what he’s accomplished.”
“Well, the big thing is he’s got one more year on his contract and he’s a man of integrity. I think he’s also a competitor — he doesn’t want his career to end on a season like last year. There’s a number of things out there that I think brings Larry back. And he’s playing at a high level on top of everything else.”
“I was an intern coach with the Cardinals when he came in as a rookie, so I saw him from day one, and every year since, when the Rams play the Cardinals, he’s the first guy I go see. We shake hands, we talk for a little bit. When I saw him in Los Angeles — we talked for a hot minute — he said nothing about retirement. Now, he wouldn’t mention that to me anyway, but he didn’t give me8 the hug, he didn’t give me the long handshake, he didn’t give me the sad eyes like ‘This is it, yada yada yada.’ He shook my hand, he went to warming up, and then he proceeded to do what he does best: beat the Rams and give them problems. So, that told me he’s coming back for next year. Like, this isn’t goodbye for Larry Fitzgerald.”
“I think the reason for that is he’s gotten done just about everything except winning the Super Bowl, and I think if he felt like that was in the cards for next year, that that would bring him back. But you see what Atlanta did last weekend and you see how really Green Bay struggled to even stay on the field and, maybe they might be a little far away. As good as the Cardinals were a year ago — not as much this past season — it might feel a little far away from your grasp right now.”
“I’d go with 80 percent. I think he played at such a high level and he’s enjoying himself and he likes that team, and he’s happy with the organization and he’s happy with the way they’re using him. Knowing Larry the way I do, I don’t think he’s going to continue to play out that streak as long as he possibly can — I don’t believe that at all. I think at some point he’s going to look at his skills, and if they’re diminishing at all, or he’s going to look at the way he’s being used, and if it’s not to his liking he’s going to say, you know what, I’m happy and content to go do a lot of other great things in my life. Whether that’s business or philanthropic work, there’s a lot of things he wants to do outside the world of football. But I think right now, his competitiveness and playing at such a high level and not having won a Super Bowl yet, I think those are the driving factors that bring him back.”
“Short of being, God forbid, being hit by a bus, I’m going 93 percent.”
“I still look at the age, and 33 isn’t that old. That’s why I kind of go with 53 percent that he’s coming back. I mean, Jerry Rice played until he was like 42; Steve Smith just played until he was 38. You’re talking about a great, Hall of Fame future receiver, who’s a great guy and I think he loves the game of football. That’s why 33 seems young to retire.”
“100 percent chance. Go big or go home, brother, that’s all I say. I’m not breaking news, that’s just my guy and my thoughts on Larry. I truly believe that he’s not going to go out 7-8-1 and leading the league in receptions, with that type of productivity and $11 million to make. I just don’t see him turning that down.”