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Fitzgerald, Cards deal done

Posted by Darren Urban on February 18, 2015 – 7:53 am

Here’s one way to start the Scouting combine: The Cardinals and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald are moving closer to a new contract that will ease the $23.6 million salary cap hit Fitzgerald is scheduled to have in 2015. It’s good news, especially since General Manager Steve Keim has been trying to get this done. Multiple reports have noted this (and an NFL source confirmed), and it looks like the Cards will be able to adjust their Fitz cap issue well ahead of the March 10 deadline. It was first reported by Adam Schefter.

UPDATE: Keim announced the contract is set. It is “essentially a two-year deal,” Keim said.

Until details emerge, it’s hard to know what Fitzgerald and the Cardinals were each willing to do to get this done. Fitzgerald had already been under contract through 2018, but his $8M salary and $8M roster bonus, plus other dead money was untenable. But there is no question the Cardinals winning of late and Fitzgerald’s deep ties to Arizona after 11 seasons helped in talks.

This will also allow the Cardinals to have some ability to chase free agents March 10 when that time comes. Even once Fitz is resolved, there is more work for Keim — defensive tackle Darnell Dockett carries a $9.8M cap number for 2015, for instance.

Keim is addressing the media here in Indianapolis at 11:30 a.m. (9:30 a.m. Arizona time). I’m guessing this will be a topic (the only topic?). More to come as soon as he speaks.


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Posted in Blog | 43 Comments »


43 Responses to “Fitzgerald, Cards deal done”

  1. By ian602 on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Splendid news. Dragic, take notes.

  2. By Steve Weston on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Really good news! I hope we can get Dockett signed in similar fashion. More, I really hope that Fitz becomes a more integral part of our offense next year. Just seemed to me that they weren’t getting him the ball often enough. I know you don’t want to force it and risk an INT, but come on man, this is Fitz!

  3. By D on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Hopefully it’s done this week, then Mr. Keim will have to release Darnell and Ginn Jr. before March 10 to free up another 8 mil. I like Dockett but this Dline performed well without him, of course resigning T. Kelly will be important to rotate with Stinson and Rucker along the line.

  4. By Dr. G. on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren…not much rack time with the time zone change, huh?

    I cannot find a stream on the GM//Coaches interviews. Is it streaming?

    And, we look forward to your articles on these two…Thank you…

  5. By Darren Urban on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Streaming

    We are not streaming. I think NFL Network is putting some of these on air.

  6. By #11CARD FOR LIFE on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Thank you Larry!! Team guy all the way around as I don’t remember any player reworking contract so many times to stay with their team. Hope Darnell follows Larry and rework contract to stay. Hope this year Larry is more of a focus. I’m sure he has lost some speed over the years but I bet he still has the ability to jump and make those Larry circus catches. Please put him on the outside more.

  7. By Dr. G. on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Darren…

    It seems as though I recall BA admitting that he may have erred in how he employed Ellington in one of your articles… Was Fitz included in that concession?

    Though he is a decent blocker, I am convinced that Fitz knows he is more effective running longer routes to include jump balls now and then…gotta be a gentlemens’ agreement on that for 2015, wouldn’t you think?…later

  8. By Darren Urban on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Agreement

    I don’t expect any change there.

  9. By jasonc on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Hey, look at that! A deal was done that freed up $13 million in cap space and let us keep Larry. Can all of you wanna be GM’s finally understand there is a reason you post on a blog about football and don’t work in a front office?

  10. By Dynosoar on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Yeah! Now let’s get that ring.

    The Lombardi trophy or nothing at all!

  11. By sarrott on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    With Fitz’s contract originally through 2018 why would they change the length to only 2 more years. Is there concern that he would have to retire after 2016? They kept saying that the goal was to keep him in the organization for his entire career.

  12. By Darren Urban on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Sarrott —

    RE: Two year

    Keim said it was “essentially” a two year deal. Still runs through 2018. Something to keep in mind.

  13. By Travis on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Yahoo! says the deal is done! What’s the word?!?!?

  14. By Mark on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    The legend continues in Arizona!! Great job Cards!!! Thank you Michael for making this happen!

  15. By Dynosoar on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Off topic? maybe, maybe not.

    How’s the recovery of Carson and Drew? They’re health will be a factor in Fitzgerald’s march to both a Super Bowl Ring and Canton.

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Whew. Happy to see LF retained as leader, hope we can afford it. LF may have sniffed SB run at mid-season, even if CP later crumpled with a knee. But CP and LF were rally building chemistry… 2 more years! 2 more years!

  17. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Wow, I was wrong on this one. I did not see this coming. Maybe I have been a card fan too long and still have some of the “old cardinal” ways in my head.

    I thought the cards would try to get something done but, I really thought Larry would test the market.

    Glad to hear it. and a little shocked.

    Now, let’s get Fitz and Palmer healthy, and see what they can do.

    I know Scott H is a very happy man right now.

  18. By Janet Lambert on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Awesome news!! I hope we can get everyone healthy and get Dockett signed as well. Thank you Steve Keim and the cardinals staff for getting this done. We all love Larry!!

  19. By Kevin S Mesa on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Wow. I had pegged the chance of Fitz staying here at significantly less than 50/50. This is great news. No one player is above the team and everyone is ultimately expendable if the money isn’t there to keep them around, but it’s so much more fun to be a fan when a team has some continuity, especially among the fan favorites.

  20. By Eric G on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Good news everyone!

    – Professor Farnsworth

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    It looks like Keim wants to redo the contract on Dockett and I think that will get done.

    Looking to reduce the cap and get under it while keeping the players. Hats off to Keim for finding a way.

  22. By Coach K on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Great to have Larry on board. Like I said earlier, both he and Palmer can try and go for the ring together at the end of their careers. Larry has lots of gas left in the tank.

    I also had to offer my latest, updated, pre-combine mock draft adjusted for projected round:

    1. Erik Kendricks, ILB, UCLA
    2. Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah
    3. Jeremiah Poutasi, OT, Utah
    4. Andy Gallick, C, Boston College
    5. David Cobb, RB, Minnesota
    6. Max Garcia, G-C, Florida
    7. Sean Mannion, QB, Oreg. St.
    7b. Cam Thomas, CB, W. Kentucky

  23. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Interesting to hear Keim today;

    He wants to get more athletic at ILB and OLB and more physical at interior offensive line.

    He said they will be active in FA, whether that means he will address these spots in the draft or FA, he did not say.

    So trying to think along with Keim, I would guess he will look for a physical guard in FA. I would also think he would add a versatile LB with the ability to play inside and outside. He of course must address NT, whether that is in the draft of not, he didn’t hint either way.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    According to spotrac, the deal is this.

    The cards cancelled the old contract and redid a new contract that would have a cap hit of 4.35 million in 2015, down from the 23.6 million.
    If true, that would save a total of around 18 million in cap space.

    Is what they are reporting true?

  25. By Darren Urban on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Contract

    The only numbers I have seen are guesstimates on structure.

    I looked at the spotrac page and all I see is spots empty, waiting to be filled, other than dead money.

  26. By Roy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Oh happy Day!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Ian602-

    Don’t get it twisted, Dragic isn’t massively overpaid. He makes less than Bledsoe and is just as good.

  28. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    What I am seeing is a 2 million dollar bonus and a 2.35 million dollar restructured bonus.

    Now looking at it, they do not have any salary plugged in. So that 4.35 is just bonuses and restructured bonuses without salary.

  29. By Darren Urban on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: spotrac

    Right. So in essence, they’ve kept the “dead money” and are waiting for details.

  30. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Awesome job SK and Fitz!

    Both sides are happy, win win.

    😊

    I just read about Goran, to go public wanting to leave is probably him being niev (sp?) and didn’t think before going public or he’s mad that so much attention and money was paid to Bledsoe this last off season when he himself deserved as much.

  31. By Marlin on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Bidwill is the best owner in sports! Keim is the best GM in the NFL. WE LOVE YOU LARRY !!!!!!

  32. By Corgon on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Yessssssss!

  33. By Scott H on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    YEEEEEEEEEE- HAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    I applaud both sides of this tremendously for their roles in getting this done. I have never doubted Fitz’ sincerity about wanting to be here. What really had me scared was the harsh realities of the salary cap, players getting older, and the business side of the NFL. All of that seemed likely to have Fitz saying farewell. But this shows beyond ANY possible doubt that that this man is truly dedicated to being an Arizona Cardinal.

    And as for this organization……WOW, what a great job getting this done!!! Clearly, they have been taking a pro-active approach to this, they knew what they wanted to do ( apparently, they were nothing but 100% sincere all along as well ), and they got it done. This CLEARLY shows how far this organization has come from the days when the Cardinals were a national joke as far as pro sports franchises was concerned. THIS shows direction, decisiveness, a commitment to winning AND the fans, and true business savvy that puts them right there with anyone.

    We don’t have to worry about the March 8th date when a roster bonus was due. We don’t have to worry about how the situation with Fitz will impact FA. We don’t have to worry about Fitz at all. Because this organization has been on this and they took care of it. And they got it out of the way pretty damn quick!

    I say thank you to the Cardinals organization for keeping a truly special player and a REAL face of the franchise individual here where he belongs.

    Fitz is in the fold, ladies and gentlemen. 2015 season, here we come!

  34. By BigAL on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Great News! Great Job! Mr B, S Keim & Co. Congrats! & Thank you Larry Fitz!Greatest Cardinal player all time! Again a team player! Team leader! Now the example is set to redo the other guys, mainly DD. but Powers, Sendlein & Stanton’s Cap hits are all too high! Along w/Ted Ginn, just cut him! And get big Dan Williams, & Crow resigned! Tommy Kelly probably too!
    And at this point…shouldn’t D Wash make a leap of faith, if he really wants to play again as a Cardinal…or any team for that matter & just offer up to redo his contract at a lower Cap hit!?

    Again, Great News… but I do have to agree w/sarrott…I’m curious as to why only 2 years?

  35. By #11CARD FOR LIFE on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    Why is there talk of the Suns on this site. Who cares about NBA. It’s all about the NFL.

  36. By Big Ken on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    I guess only a scoundrel would suggest a trade now, to say the NE Patriots for Vince Wilfork and a couple of day three picks.

  37. By Scott H on Feb 18, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    You know me too well, sir! Not that it takes much, I wear my heart on my sleeve with just about everything!

    I am a happy man, indeed, and I know I am not alone. This is a day for celebration for Cardinals fans. We may have a long way to go this off-season but let’s take a moment to enjoy this one.

  38. By Steele on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    The only ones that ever made anything out of Fitz leaving were Darren and that goon who writes for the republic. So this wasn’t a surprise to anyone else.

  39. By Scott H on Feb 19, 2015 | Reply

    Big Ken –

    I don’t suppose the Patriots would give us anything for you…

    Dude, please!

  40. By Chuck 1 on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    I hate to tell you that “I told you” . NOT
    However, I posted recently that “Michael will pay up to keep Fitz”.
    $11,000,000/per year might not seem like “paying up”, but it probably exceeds (or, at least matches) what the other top WRs receive.

  41. By Big Ken on Feb 21, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Scott H, I gotta no trade clause. Sorry..

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