Did Rod Graves challenge Fitzgerald’s sincerity?

Aug 2, 2011, 4:06 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm

Cardinals GM Rod Graves told Sports 620 KTAR that the team has every intention of keeping Larry Fitzgerald, going as far as to say “We are prepared to make Larry the highest-paid player in our history and we are prepared to make him one of the highest-paid players in the National Football League.”

And, while Fitzgerald has consistently said he has no desire leave Arizona, Graves’ words can almost be taken as a challenge to the receiver’s sincerity.

After all, if Fitzgerald was waiting to see if the Cardinals were committed to winning they’ve proven that yes, they are, and if he was worried about making good money, well, he shouldn’t be.

So, if he doesn’t sign he’s been lying the whole time, right?

Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley said the GM’s comments sounded alarms.

“I think he was putting the onus squarely on Larry Fitzgerald,” he said on the Doug and Wolf show Tuesday. “I’ve always believed Larry wants to be an Arizona Cardinal; this made me think maybe he doesn’t.”

Some may argue that Graves shouldn’t have said what he did. Why would you put unnecessary pressure on a guy to sign a contract when he has no legal obligation to do so? Fitzgerald could decide to become a free agent for the first time in his career and he’d be well within his rights to do so. Some, in fact, would probably say he’d be making a wise decision.

Still, as Doug Franz said on the show, Fitzgerald may want to wait and see how improved the Cardinals really are before signing on the dotted line.

“None of that’s been determined yet,” Franz said. “Even though we believe so many things are pointing forward there’s no reason for Larry to sign until week five, week six, week seven, something like that, and he sees the production.

“So for him there’s no hurry and you have to think the Cardinals know that.”

Indeed you do. Graves has proven to be fairly shrewd as a GM, and you’d have to think he has chosen his words carefully.

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Did Rod Graves challenge Fitzgerald’s sincerity?