Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald just did an interview with Mike Jurecki and Dan Bickley on XTRA 910 out at the Super Bowl. Since it’s a local show — and both have long-standing relationships with Fitz — who better than to ask him about both his contract situation and his future with the Cardinals?
Yeah, exactly. Fitz was having none of it. When it was suggested he use his leverage to force the Cards to improve, Fitzgerald said “I hate that word, leverage … I’ll be a diva then.”
As I have found myself, Fitz will never be rude about it, but he can’t get away from such questions fast enough. I don’t blame him. The only realistic answer right now is that he probably has to keep his options open, given where the Cardinals’ roster sits, the labor uncertainty and, in a direct impact of Fitz, the situation at quarterback. But where’s the upside in Fitz (who is headed to Israel and Turkey on vacation next week) saying that? I’m guessing he sees none.
Q: People have been writing … (they don’t) think you’re going to be in Arizona. It’ll be tough to keep you.
Fitz: “Naw. You can’t believe rumors like that.”
Q: You have made it clear you want to be on a winning team. This offseason is important for this organization … it’s important you let them know you’re not a guy who tolerates losing.
Fitz: “I’ve been in the playoffs the last two years … We are getting used to something there. To go backwards isn’t something any of us want. We wall want to move in the right direction. I know Coach (Ken) Whisenhunt, it’s been a tough year for him, it’s been a tough year for all of us. We want to get this thing back on the right track.”
Q: What is some of the criteria though to get better …
Fitz: (interrupting): “I’m not a diva like that. It’s not about what I want.”
Q: But you have to have personal goals, things you want to achieve, and if you don’t have the quarterback, it’ll be hard to do, so what are the criteria (you need) …
Fitz: “I’m not setting criteria. I think there are a couple of positions we need to upgrade, we need to continue to improve and add more pieces to the puzzle, and that’s all I’m going to say on that. I’m not trying to call out anybody, I’m not trying to ruffle any feathers. I’m not the GM or the coach. I’m just a guy out there catching passes occasionally.”
Q: Are they (the team) tapping into your perspective with the quarterback situation?
Fitz: “Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable doing that. As a player, there’s a fine line. I love my franchise and I love my coaching staff, but I am still a player at the end of the day. Max Hall is a good friend of mine. John Skelton is a good friend of mine. I really enjoy Rich Bartel. For me to say I want someone to come in and take their job, that’s not right of me.”
Q: Have the Cardinals made you a new contract offer?
Fitz: “What do you mean?”
Q: A contract offer.
Fitz: “We’re discussing some different options … There is dialogue, yes.”
There was a follow-up about whether Fitz would consider talking about a contract into the season if something wasn’t done by say, Aug. 1, and Fitz did a nice job diverting that into the worry about a work stoppage that could eat into the season. He never did answer the original question. He mentioned he wants to bring his fellow wideouts to Minnesota — Steve Breaston, Stephen Williams, Andre Roberts, Max Komar, Early Doucet — if there is a work stoppage to keep them all moving in the right direction.
Here was one line that stood out to me from Fitz: “I don’t want to waste another year.”
Tags: John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Max Hall, Richard Bartel
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