Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald on contract restructuring: ‘I’ll do what I need to do’
Larry Fitzgerald has spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals, catching 846 passes for 11,367 yards and 87 touchdowns.
He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler and at 30 years old is still playing at a high level, and no doubt the team would like to keep the face of the franchise around for a while longer.
Yet, Fitzgerald is due to count a hefty $18 million against the team’s salary cap this season, which is a number they’ll most likely look to bring down via a contract extension of sorts.
“I don’t know,” Fitzgerald told the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday from Radio Row in New York. “When those discussions come, I’ll do what I need to do.”
Fitzgerald said he has a “great relationship” with general manager Steve Keim, whose vision he understands, and that he “loves Coach Arians and the direction he’s taking this ball club.”
The Cardinals won 10 games last season and appear to have their quarterback situation settled with Carson Palmer. For the first time in a few seasons, there is a great sense of optimism surrounding the team.
“I was really excited about what we were able to accomplish last year,” Fitzgerald said, noting how many games the Cardinals won in what he believes is the best division in the NFL. “We lose our first round pick, Jonathan Cooper, in the third preseason game of the year; we lose Tyrann (Mathieu) later on in the year. We’ve got some young guys that are coming on strong. Michael Floyd obviously has got a tremendous future, so I’m really excited about just the way things are going.
“Carson coming in and throwing for 4,000 yards to Andre Ellington…there’s a lot that you can really be excited about moving forward.”
While that does not mean Fitzgerald will take a pay cut, it does sound like he’s ready to take a look at the contract and see if something can be done to alleviate the pressure on the team.
“I understand that at 30 years old, there’s things that need to change,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s part of football, that’s part of being an older veteran and part of this league.
“I want to see this team do well. I love the nucleus of guys. I know Patrick’s deal is coming up — he needs to be compensated as the best corner in the game, which I feel that he is. We’ve got to take care of Karlos Dansby, Frostee Rucker. There’s a lot of guys that deserve to be compensated for their play, and I understand that.”