Larry Fitzgerald Could Be Playing Last Game As A Cardinal


As Arizona Cardinal fans were raising a glass and toasting toward a bright future for their football team, future hall of fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald was planning on a new future as well.  The face of the Cardinals could be wearing a new uniform next after becoming a casualty of the salary cap.

According to a report by Fox Sports Arizona, Fitzgerald is expecting to be cut by the Cardinals who may not be able to swallow his cap hit in 2015.  The seven time pro bowl wideout renegotiated his contract with Arizona prior to the 2014 freeing up about $10 million in much-needed cap space.

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Although the renegotiation helped in the short-term, it just kicked the salary can down the road.

According to the report, Fitzgerald salary cap hit will be $23.6 million next season accounting for an inordinate amount of the Cardinals $141 million salary cap. The cap hit could be lower but that would require Fitzgerald to renegotiate.

To his credit, Fitz is saying all the right things about his contract right now insisting that he is focusing on the game with the Panthers.

"“It has not crossed my mind,” Fitzgerald said Wednesday after the Cardinals practice. “I’m in the midst of an opportunity that doesn’t come too often, so all my energy and everything is focused on helping my team win.”"

The Fox Sports Arizona report says differently.  It cites a source that Fitzgerald has not only thought about his contract but is unhappy with his role in the Cardinals offense.

It is hard to blame Fitzgerald for not wanting to renegotiate.  He has earned that money after all. He has already “taken one for the team” should he be expected to do that every year. He shouldn’t be.

The huge cap hit next season isn’t all his fault.  It was the Cardinals who approached him about renegotiating before the season and the large cap number in 2015 is a side effect of that.

Put yourself in his shoes for a moment.  If you boss asked you to divert a large chunk of your salary into the next year, wouldn’t you be a little insulted if he asked you to so the same the following year?  At some point you would expect to get paid on your original contract, wouldn’t you?

The reported discontent with his role on the offense is a little less believable.  Fitzgerald has always proven himself to be a true professional. Even if he has been unhappy, he has never made his unhappiness known publicly.

If Fitzgerald isn’t a Cardinal next year, it will be because the team couldn’t afford his salary and cut him, not because he is unhappy with the team.

Tell us what you think? Should the Cardinals cut Larry Fitzgerald next season?