Larry Fitzgerald leaves door open on retirement after 2016 in Jim Gray interview
Larry Fitzgerald isn’t saying he’s retiring after the 2016 season.
The Cardinals receiver is also not saying he will not be retiring.
Following a 48-41 loss to the New Orleans Saints and a day after he offered a somewhat vague response about whether he will return in 2017, the Arizona star offered a follow-up to Jim Gray on Westwood One Radio.
Is Fitzgerald, who is under contract through 2017, contemplating retirement after this year?
“No, I wouldn’t say that I’m contemplating it right now,” Fitzgerald said. “But I’m uncertain what I’m going to do moving forward. But I still love the game, I love the competition. I love being around the guys and competing for a championship. That’s a lot of fun to me. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I’m really just focused on these last two games.”
Fitzgerald, however, is still one of the NFL’s most productive receivers. Through 14 games, he’s first with 98 receptions, the fourth-most targeted wideout in the league and is 16th in the NFL with 949 yards.
Gray wondered why Fitzgerald would even consider walking away from the game with a bit left in the tank.
“I don’t play for the personal accolades or catches or yards,” Fitzgerald said. “I mean, those are all wonderful footnotes at the end of the day. Jim, you know, you’ve been around sports a long time, you play to win. When you’re sitting at home, watching other teams compete for a championship that you so dearly want, it puts a bitter, bitter taste in your mouth.
“You’ll know how bad I hate sitting in the box with you.”
It sounds like a decision might have to do with the roster situation around him. And if that’s the case, it makes sense with the Cardinals having quite a few soon-to-be free agents on the 2016 roster.
At 33 years old and as a 13-year NFL veteran, Fitzgerald first fueled speculation he’s not a lock to return next year when the Cardinals were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs with their loss to the Saints.
“I got two more games to go,” Fitzgerald said Sunday. “I will play those games as hard as I can against two division opponents and we will see what goes on this offseason. My attention is solely focused on Seattle this Saturday.”