Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald lands on NFL’s Top 100 list for seventh straight year
May 30, 2017, 7:26 AM | Updated: 11:26 am
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald led the NFL in receptions in 2016 with 107. The catch total was the second-highest of Fitzgerald’s storied career and marked the first time he’s led the league in that category since 2005, when he was a 22-year-old second-year player.
The Canton-bound Fitzgerald is still playing at a high level as he enters his 14th season in the league. That’s why he’s been recognized by his peers once again, landing at No. 45 in NFL Network’s annual countdown of the league’s Top 100 players.
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) May 30, 2017
“Absolutely,” Philadelphia’s Torrey Smith answered when asked if Fitzgerald still belongs. “It feels like he’s been in the Top 100 forever. He hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.”
In terms of production, it’s true. In the history of the NFL, only Jerry Rice and Reggie Wayne have had more catches in a single season in their age 33 season or later than Fitzgerald did last year.
“One thing that sticks out about him is probably his hands,” New England cornerback Stephone Gilmore said. “You put the ball anywhere near him, he finds a way to come down with it.”
Despite his stellar season, Fitzgerald did fall 18 spots in this year’s rankings after coming in at No. 27 in 2016.
To Smith’s point, Fitzgerald has been in the annual countdown every season since its inception in 2011. His highest ranking ever came in 2012, when the receiver landed at No. 7. His low ranking was following the 2014 season, when he came in at No. 68.
Fitzgerald is the second Cardinal on the list this year. Outside linebacker Chandler Jones was No. 85. Former Arizona defensive lineman Calais Campbell, who bolted for Jacksonville in free agency, was No. 83.