When the Arizona Cardinals traded for Kevin Kolb many believed it was done to ensure that all-everything wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald would remain in the Valley.
With the dust settling from the free agent and trade frenzy that engulfed the NFL over the last week, Cards general manager Rod Graves is letting everyone know his focus has shifted from adding new players to the roster to keeping Fitz on it.
“I have made contact with his agent,” Graves told Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf Friday. “We’ve agreed to initiate these talks. I made it clear to him that we felt like we could get something done before the start of the season. At this point I just arrived in camp two days ago. I’m still in preparation for getting an offer over to them. I don’t anticipate this has to be a long drawn-out process.”
Whether it is a long process or not seems to be in the hands of Fitzgerald and not the Cards. The team has made it clear they are willing to make him the highest paid player in franchise history and one of the top receivers in the league. The entire process will hinge on whether or not the receiver wants to test the free agency waters or take the safety of a top dollar contract in a city he’s played his entire career in.
Graves doesn’t sound overly concerned Fitz will choose the former.
“It’s my impression that Larry wants to remain here as an Arizona Cardinal,” he said. “Whenever you have two parties that have a mutual goal, I think it can be accomplished.”
It benefits the Cardinals to get a deal done in the next four weeks to make sure Fitzgerald’s guaranteed money counts against this years cap. It may benefit Fitzgerald to wait it out to gain more leverage.
We’ll soon find out if an extension will be accomplished on the Cards’ schedule or if Fitzgerald has a different timetable in mind.