The Arizona Cardinals have a star wide receiver on his way out. That’s a scary proposition, as Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most famous and respected offensive weapons in the NFL.
The Arizona Cardinals have done everything in their power to win the Super Bowl. The team boasts a good mix of young talent at quarterback and many draft picks at various positions, as well as a solid defense. The 2015 NFL season should be another challenging one for the Cardinals.Arizona Cardinals fans have seen Larry Fitzgerald deliver some incredible performances over the years. After gaining a reputation as one of the NFL’s best receivers early in his career, the confident, broad-shouldered player made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
But at 37, the legendary wideout doesn’t seem to expect to continue making a living running and catching passes. Much to the chagrin of Cardinals fans, Fitzgerald made a statement Friday about his NFL future that doesn’t allay fears about what lies ahead for the greatest player in franchise history.
From 2005-2011, Fitzgerald was arguably the best wideout in the NFL. He ran for over 1,000 yards in all but one year and led the league in receiving touchdowns in two consecutive seasons (2008-09). In addition, his four-game streak in 2008 (30 catches for 546 yards and seven touchdowns) was the best streak in league history for a pass catcher.
Although he has lost a step or two over the years, Fitzgerald is still a productive player at 30. He even made it to the Pro Bowl three times in a row from 2015-17, averaging 108 catches and 1,131 yards per season.
However, the future Hall of Fame member has not made the same impression in recent years. His average yards per catch fell from 11.1 in 2015 to a low 7.6 in 2020. He also recorded the fewest catches (54) and receiving yards (400) since entering the NFL as a first-round pick in 2004. After playing in all 16 games in five consecutive seasons, Fitzgerald played in just 13 games for the Cardinals last season.
Since his 38th birthday. With his 50th birthday fast approaching (August 31), the Minnesota native apparently doesn’t have much tread left on his tires. So it wouldn’t be surprising if Cardinals fans have already seen Fitzgerald make his last catch as an NFL player.
Fitzgerald is currently a free agent and can pursue his career wherever he wants. While it would be somewhat disheartening not to see him in a Cardinals jersey, the reality is that a legendary player can take his talents wherever he wants.
Of course, that depends on Fitzgerald’s willingness to keep playing football. After 17 years of making a living catching passes, no one would blame him if he wanted to do something else. So what exactly does Fitzgerald see for his future?
In an interview with Rachel Nichols on ESPN on Friday, he couldn’t give a definitive answer on whether he will play next season.
I haven’t decided anything yet, Fitzgerald said. The training camp starts in a few weeks. I’m excited. This is going to be another great year for the NFL.
The fact that he hasn’t decided on turning 18 yet. Arizona’s return season doesn’t look promising at all. It takes 100 percent dedication to overcome the challenges of professional football, and no one knows that better than Fitzgerald. If he still doesn’t know if he wants to play, is it likely that he will find the will to return in the coming weeks? Or does his comment that this is another great year for the NFL mean that the league will continue without him? Either way, his attitude won’t stop Cardinals fans from worrying about the future of a player who has spent his entire career with an Arizona team.
Larry Fitzgerald waves to Arizona Cardinals fans as he leaves the field after the game against the New Orleans Saints. | Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Would Fitzgerald even want to return for another NFL season?
On the one hand, it makes sense for him to try again. After all, he’s never won a Super Bowl. He has no other holes in his resume, so the temptation to win a ring might entice Fitzgerald to sign another one-year contract.
But he should think twice before playing for the Cardinals again. Of course, Arizona has some intriguing attackers with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. And with Chandler Jones, Isaiah Simmons and 2021 first-round pick Zaven Collins, there’s an impressive group of midfielders ready to go. But the Cardinals have a very tough lineup that depends on the aging, injury-prone versions of A.J. Green and J.J. Watt to play the leadoff roles. At the same time, they also play in the best league in football. The Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers have talented rosters and deep coaching staffs, making Cliff Kingsbury’s job that much more difficult.
The chances of Fitzgerald getting that elusive Super Bowl ring with the Cardinals are just slim. If he’s already considering putting his body on the line for another year, the fact that Arizona doesn’t seem like a major title contender should seal the deal.
COMPARED TO: Larry Fitzgerald just took a big step towards thechampionship ring.
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