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3 Cardinals make The Athletic’s ‘best to wear every jersey number’

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) reacts at the end of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

A few Arizona Cardinals are some of the best to ever do it at their respective positions.

They also have players who are the best to ever wear their respective numbers, according to The Athletic.

It’s an exercise that will actually surprise you at the amount of variety and range in competition for the top spot at each number.

As expected, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald took the crown for No. 11.

Fitzgerald ranks second to Jerry Rice in receptions and receiving yardage while ranking sixth in touchdown receptions. He has missed only seven games in 16 seasons and has accrued impressive credentials in nine postseason games as well: 57 receptions for 942 yards (a 16.5-yard average) and 10 touchdowns. His postseason run to the Arizona Cardinals’ lone Super Bowl appearance was epic.

Fitzgerald is entering year number 17 in Arizona after being drafted third overall in 2004.

The biggest competition for Fitzgerald was Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones, former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Phil Simms and former New England Patriots signal-caller Drew Bledsoe.

Also representing the Cardinals, defensive back Aeneas Williams was named the best player to don a No. 35 jersey.

The Hall of Fame defensive back, who played cornerback and safety during his 12-year career with the Cardinals and Rams, was a member of the All-1990s team. He finished his career with 55 interceptions.

Williams, an eight-time Pro Bowler, made six of those in a row with the Cardinals from 1994-99 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

His only notable competition was former Chicago Bears running back Neal Anderson.

Lastly, defensive back Tim McDonald won out for No. 46.

McDonald was a six-time Pro Bowl safety during his 13-year career with the Cardinals and 49ers. He won a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 1994, a season in which he was one of three 49ers defensive backs who made the Pro Bowl (along with cornerback Deion Sanders and free safety Merton Hanks.)

McDonald was on the then-St. Louis Cardinals team that moved to Phoenix in 1988. He made three Pro Bowls as a member of the Cardinals and had 20 interceptions in six years playing for the franchise.

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