Ex-Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tried to recruit Larry Fitzgerald in 2021

Apr 6, 2022, 2:47 PM

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ran into the injury bug in the worst way when star wide receiver Chris Godwin was lost for the remainder of the season and postseason with a torn ACL in Week 15.

From the sounds of it, then-Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians left no stone unturned in finding some sort of replacement for his injured wideout.

Tampa Bay’s new senior football consultant even reached back to his Arizona Cardinals days, kicking the tires on a potential Larry Fitzgerald reunion.

Yes, you read that right.

“I did (try to recruit Fitzgerald to Tampa Bay),” Arians told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Wednesday. “When we lost our guys, especially when Chris Godwin got hurt, I called Fitz.

“He said, ‘Coach, I can only run two plays right now but thanks. I said, ‘I just had to check brother.'”

If the door wasn’t already shut, Arians’ comments slammed it the rest of the way when talking about any sort of return to the football field for the Cardinals’ franchise-leading wide receiver.

As for Arians, who announced his sudden retirement a week ago and handed the reins over to former Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the decision to hang it up really boiled down to Tom Brady and his unretiring.

“I was waiting for Tom and see what he was going to do,” Arians said. “Once he decided and he came back, it was a no-brainer (to retire). Todd’s in great shape, the organization’s in a great shape. Probably wouldn’t have done it had Tom not unretired.

“There was always a possibility (Brady could unretire) so we were going to wait until the last minute. We were making plans in case he didn’t, but thank goodness he did.”

Arizona Cardinals

New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka, left, and quarterback Daniel Jones (8) watch prac...
Kevin Zimmerman

Cardinals to meet Tuesday with Giants OC Mike Kafka, per report

The Arizona Cardinals will interview New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka for their opening at head coach, according to reports.
1 day ago
Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo of the Cincinnati Bengals argues a call during the first half aga...
Tyler Drake

Report: Cardinals planning to interview Bengals’ Anarumo, Callahan

The Cardinals have reportedly requested head-coaching interviews with Bengals coordinators Lou Anarumo and Brian Callahan.
1 day ago
Monti Ossenfort, new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, speaks during a ne...
Tyler Drake

2023 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: What will the Cardinals do with 3rd pick?

A look at the players being mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals tight ends coach Steve Heiden talks to his pass catchers during rookie minicamp F...
Tyler Drake

Report: Cardinals TEs coach Steve Heiden expected to join Lions

Arizona Cardinals tight ends coach Steve Heiden is expected to join the Detroit Lions in the same role, per ESPN's Dan Graziano.
1 day ago
Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles is pressured by L'Jarius Sneed #38 of the Kansas City Chi...
Alex Weiner

Super Bowl LVII matchup set: Eagles to face Chiefs at State Farm Stadium

Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale will be a showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. 
2 days ago
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Josh Johnson du...
Alex Weiner

Eagles OLB Haason Reddick wreaks havoc in NFC Championship Game vs. 49ers

Haason Reddick's heroics in the NFC title game got the attention of his old Cardinals teammates, including Chandler Jones.
2 days ago
Ex-Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tried to recruit Larry Fitzgerald in 2021