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

Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
21 hours ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
2 days ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with fans after beating the Houston Texans 31-5...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals Corner: The timeframe of Kyler Murray’s contract extension

We haven't heard much lately when it comes down to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray and a contract extension. When will a new deal get done?
2 days ago
Markus Golden #44 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a defensive play during the first half against...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals LB Markus Golden among players with best team-friendly deals

Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden's contract cracked PFF analyst Brad Spielberger's top team-friendly deals ranking.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals' Kyler Murray (1) participates during the team's NFL football practice, Wednesday...
Nikash Nath

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray among top 5 QBs in multiple PFF passing metrics

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's accuracy was on point in 2021, especially when looking at deep throws.
5 days ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
4 days ago
Ex-Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians tried to recruit Larry Fitzgerald in 2021