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Fitz closes in on contract extension

Posted by Darren Urban on November 16, 2017 – 5:25 pm

Multiple reports — first by Pro Football Talk — have Larry Fitzgerald closing in on a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals. (Pure coincidence, by the way, that I happened to touch on Fitz’s future — and his lack of a contract — this morning.) It’s no secret that retirement has begun to be a possibility for the wide receiver. Whether that has become less of a possibility for Fitz, I can’t say. He’s been steadfast in saying he will consider such things when the season is over.

What this move does tell me though is that the Cardinals want to make sure that if Fitz does decide to play in 2018, it is as a Cardinal. They made a similar move much earlier last year — training camp in 2016, for the one-year extension for 2017 — to get that certainty. You don’t want to be in a situation when the contract expires in the spring and Fitz doesn’t have a contract in place and he is a free agent. The Cardinals — and ownership — want to make sure Fitz stays right here as long as he is playing. We’ll see if the news comes out Friday. It would make some sense.

UPDATE: And the deal is now done.


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30 Responses to “Fitz closes in on contract extension”

  1. By Rod on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Maybe this year he gives a hometown discount? Everyone has shown him love, now it’s his turn.

  2. By Corgon on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    I’m not ready for a life without Fitz. One more year, one more year! And in the meantime, can we start fastcloning him please!

  3. By Scott H on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    HA! Wrong again!!! I mean myself, of course. Just a little while ago ( today! ), I was lamenting the end of the Larry Fitzgerald era and bracing for the end.

    And now he is back for 2018. Could we ever ask for more?

    I love this man.

    And. clearly, I don’t predict what he is going to do very well. NEVER been so glad to be wrong!

    I have to believe this suggests a high probability that Palmer is back next year as well. And….OK. BUT I think it is clearly time for this team to find their QB of the future in the draft this year.

    But that can ( and will ) be a topic for down the road a bit.

    Right now, I am just so damn happy! I want to go call people right now and tell them Fitz is back for 2018!

  4. By Scott H on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    Earlier today, you wrote that piece in which you pointed out that never had Fitz gone this far into a season without a contract for the following year.

    A few hours later, he has a one-year extension.

    C’mon, man, you can tell us – did you know this was coming?? 🙂

  5. By JTDG on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Dang Darren, Way to set us all up.

  6. By D on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Not a shock, imagine if this extension wasn’t completed and Larry decides this Feb that he wants to continue to play and he would then be a free agent, total embarrassment.

    Nice to watch this TN v Pitt game and see two good Olines play and good to see R. Grimm still coaching.

    Let’s look at the past 5 year drafts of round 1-3 for Keim and AZ.

    2012
    Round 1. M. Floyd, WR. Bust.
    Round 2. None.
    Round 3. J. Fleming CB, Bust.
    2013
    Round 1. J. Cooper G. Bust
    Round 2. K. Minter LB. Average pick, most would say over drafted, career more in line with a 4-6 round player.
    Round 3. T. Matheu. CB. I would call him a Hit pick, due to his play prior to his injuries. He clearly isn’t the same player as his rookie year, but You can’t blame him for the injuries.
    2014
    Round 1. D. Bucannon. S. I would call him a Hit pick, especially since he has played his entire career out of position.
    Round 2. T. Niklas TE. Bust
    Round 3. K. Martin Olb. Over drafted missed on pick. To date his career represents a player drafted in round 6 or later, not valued at round 3.
    2015
    Round 1. D.J. Humphries. OT. Hit pick
    Round 2. M. Golden Olb. Hit pick
    Round 3. D. Johnson RB. Hit pick (thanks to the luck of Detroit)
    2016
    Round 1. R. Nkemdiche DT. Possible Bust
    Round 2. None
    Round 3. B.Williams CB. Possible bust.

    Out of 5 drafts, only can call one draft, 2015 successful. Not a good track record. Someone should be held accountable and a serious review of the scouting department is needed.

  7. By Lifetime Fan on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    D,
    Thanks for the recap. Just one thing, I don’t think you can put the J. Cooper bust on Keim and Co. either. Remember he was looking reallllyyyy good before he broke his leg, and then he never got his groove back. I think if that injury doesn’t happen he is a starting G for us now.

  8. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Makes me wonder if Fitz received any assurances from management that B.A. will definitely be back next year and if he talked to Carson to see how he’s leaning on returning next year.

  9. By mitchaz on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Larry Fitzgerald’s deal is for $11M + $1M in incentives if he becomes the #2 all-time leader in yards, which right now he’s within 849 yards.

  10. By Marlin on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,

    You’re right. Its what these people want to read. But its not what I want to read. I’m an old guy, well over 60. Been an NFL season ticket holder for many years…. maybe longer than some of the people on your blog have been alive. I lived in an era of “teams”. Today is an era of “individuals”. Player Fantasy and Stats. You are correct. I’m a dinosaur. So, I’ll take your advice. Best of luck and very best wishes. Have enjoyed your work.

  11. By Scott H on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    So….elated with the news that Fitz is back for 2018….now coming back down to earth a bit….

    Now, having Larry back for 2018 is great. As long as Larry is here and Larry is playing, the team is better. But we are seeing that Larry being here and still playing well is not all it takes for the team to be good enough.

    So, now let’s get to work, front office, on doing some of the other things that need to be done to make the team good enough. And ya don’t have to look far to run into one of those.

    This off-season needs to be conducted in a whole different manner than last year’s was. Please. This past off-season was an absolutely pathetic showing for this front office. And it was made all the more pathetic knowing that Carson Palmer and Fitz were coming back to try to keep this window open. Yeah, losing Palmer to injury was a huge loss, but…..please. Even when Palmer was playing, we were woefully inept and under-manned against the good teams we played. THAT is / needs to be the starting point for this off-season.

    We’ll see if the front office “gets it” this time. They didn’t get it at all during the 2017 off-season.

    Like some others, I’m guessing Palmer will also return for 2018. And I’ve already said it has seemed to me like we need to move on from the Carson Palmer era, and I’m not backing away from that statement. But the fact is, there was probably not going to be a better QB than Carson Palmer under center on opening day 2018 if he retired, so…..no complaints if he is here.

    But the QB position DOES need to be addressed for the future. I’d imagine that may be done by having Gabbert here as the back-up and a QB being taken in the draft. We’ll see.

  12. By clssylssy on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Marlin..
    Obviously you have been a Cards fan all of those years otherwise you would have witnessed great teams w individual players who were great in their own right and elevated the play of the teammates around them. I’m older than dirt but
    that hasn’t effected my appreciation for an athlete who pushes to excel at his craft. Larry Fitz is one of those rare breeds who makes everyone better & hopefully will serve as an example for some of our young players as what can be accomplished through discipline,hard work, & ambition.
    You sound as if you think everyone should be equally satisfied to settle for mediocrity, that should be a “team” value.
    Just b/c he has a contract only assures if he comes back,it will be in a Cardinal uniform, not that he’ll actually be back. This way the Organization can continue to dangle the carrot and sell tickets.

  13. By JTDG on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Now I am not saying Fitz will play this long or anything like that, so slow down before commenting.

    But Fitz is projected to finish the year with 15592 yards
    Jerry Rice finished at age 34 with 16377 yards

    A mere difference of 785 yards.

    At age 35, Jerry Rice was injured and only got 78 yards that year. He went on and played 7 more seasons reaching 22895.

    But at age 35, Fitz can actually pass Rice at age 35 with 863 yards or more in 2018.

    Frankly, if you look at the stats at age 35, if Fitz has a normal year;

    Larry Fitzgerald will have more yards and more catches than Rice did at age 35.

    Rice- 1057 catches with 16455
    Fitz (with a 70 catch , 1000 yard 2018) will have 1300 catches and 16592 yards

    The only reason Larry will not pass Rice overall is Larry will not hang on till he is 42 years old.

    But , if you look at the two players at age 35, Larry is the GOAT.

  14. By Jo Ball on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG

    Agreed. BUT given the teams Rice played on and the QBs he had, I think we can already say Fitz is the GOAT. I remember the painful years of Fitz consistently getting open and having guys like Kolb, Leinart, D.Anderson, Blake, And Max Hall miss him throw after throw after throw. He had two good years with Warner and then the last 5 with Palmer(with Palmer ending up on IR 2 out of the 5 seasons).

  15. By Coach K on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    BEST NEWS I HAVE HEARD IN MONTHS

  16. By georgiebird on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Whatever extra money Larry can get from the Cards is great- he should end up as the #2 receiver all time. He deserves the one year extension.
    But as far as Cardinals’ fans hope of getting back to the SB, Larry’s one year extension is a stupid move- it’s a feel good story.

  17. By D on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Larry was a no brainer. Let’s look at the rest of AZ 2018 free agents,

    J, Bethel
    T. Branch
    D. Stanton
    C. Peters
    K. Dansby
    T. Williams
    Ja Brown
    F. Rucker
    T. Nicklas
    A. Ellington
    A. Boone
    B. Gabbert
    J. Bynes
    E. Watford
    M. Barkley
    A. Brewer
    K. Martin
    Jo Brown
    B. Golden
    Ke Williams

    Any worth extending prior to the end of the season?. I believe first you need to
    Know if BA will be the HC or not. Because if BA is back, you know he has his favorites.

    Before injuries, you would look at extending Branch, Peters and Brewer. As of today, you could really only make a solid case to extend A. Boone right now. T. Williams if plays well rest of the year could be brought back, even though he turns 35 next year. I like Ja Brown because he plays both teams and has shown flashes at WR.

    Thoughts?

  18. By patrick on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Darren,
    Over the cap has Fitz’s prorated bonus for 2018 (before the extension) at $4,850,000. How does that happen with him not under contract?

  19. By Darren Urban on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Patrick —

    REL Dead money

    It was a voided year on the deal that was created on his 2015 extension, built to create cap space back then. Pushed some dead money into 2018, whether or not he played.

  20. By JTDG on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    D,

    I’m big on the 4 year rule. By the time the 4th year is over, that player is who he is.
    He is not suddenly going to be a star in year 5 or 6 (see Bethel)

    Jaron Brown , because of injury, got a 5th year. He is a ST guy who can catch 50 balls for 700 yards, but will also drop balls. He is not a #1 receiver. His contract should reflect who he is and not project out to who you hope he would be. So, I would renew his contract at the money he is at. But if he is looking for a big raise, let him walk.

    I sign Boone, as I thought for a game or so, there was some chemistry with Boone and Humphries.

    As for the rest of the list, there are no starters imo on that list and if any come back, would be for back up money.

    I am not sure what Larry’s contract does to the cap in 2018, as there was a 4.85 million hit in 2018 for Larry anyways. The cards have 25 million in cap space and if Larry counts for another 11 million, that leave 14 million left.

    Now, the team can save 13 million by releasing Veldheer and Iupati, and that would give the cards 27 million to sign Boone and any others.

    But let me just say this, if you are expecting a big off season for FAs, I don’t see them doing it.

  21. By Scott H on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Well, Larry may have been a no-brainer from OUR perspective. What wasn’t a no-brainer was whether Larry wanted to keep playing or not.

    Hey, it’s been a pretty good couple of days as far as I’m concerned. News of Larry staying for 2018 last night and news today that Gabbert will start.

    I like it!

    Hey, if good things really do come in 3’s, maybe we can look forward to a win on Sunday!

    But I look forward to seeing Gabbert. IF he plays well, I see NO reason for going back to Stanton from this point. I don’t see much reason to go back to Stanton at all, really. But….we’ll see.

  22. By Darren Urban on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Fitz

    I don’t want to be a wet blanket and I am guessing he is leaning toward playing, but until he says he’s playing next year, it’s not for certain. Until he says “I’m playing in 2018” I’m going to play this cautious.

  23. By JTDG on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Here is something interesting though.

    The Seahawks are at 7 million cap space in 2018 with some important FAs they want to sign.

    Richard Sherman, if released, would save the Hawks 11 million in cap space. That seems like a no brainer.

    With Sherman coming off an injury, which he won’t be ready till March, and in March will turn 30, seems like a perfect guy to sign to a one year, 7 or 8 million dollar deal to play opposite Pat P.

    But hey that is what I would be watching. But Keim has never followed my advise.

  24. By Dr. G. on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    D – you’re ruining my day by mentioning BA may be back. No way! Earlier, I proposed that Palmer would take the easy serious $$$$$….the fracture to his left wing can have little effect on his performance…but even with his good throwing ability, I’m thinking most of us are ready to move on to a mobile QB. I wanna see the team develop a different dynamic there. Palmer has needed much TCL to prep…not good.

  25. By Tyrone Hickson on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Congrats to one of the most professional wide outs in the history of the game.. #GoFitz.. No for my soap box.. Good luck Gabbert, it your time to shine. Let’s see if you can carry us through.. As Nation let’s get ready to welcome Alex Smith to the fold if Carson decides to hang it.. Thanks Carson and get back soon.. Cardinal for Life..

  26. By Johnson on Nov 17, 2017 | Reply

    Well, I for one am not happy with his decision. He deserves a ring and he cannot win one with AZ Cardinals, thats the harsh truth. I hate that he will never win a ring but at the same times I am happy he chose to remain with the Cards.

    But seriously, doesnt Fitz wanna win a Super Bowl? Dammit Kurt Warner, if only!

  27. By Scott H on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    OK, I get it. But do you think he would REALLY sign a contract for 2018 NOW, then decide after the season he’s not going to play?? Granted, I don’t make the greatest predictions where Fitz is concerned, but…..I just don’t see that.

    To me, it was just weird that this happened mid-season. I mean….it didn’t seem that the team HAD to lock him up to keep him from going somewhere else. And for Fitz, it’s not like the team was going to pack up his locker and move him out if he didn’t make a committment NOW.

    I am hearing you. I just find it REAL hard to believe he would sign for 2018, then decide not to play. Certainly, both Fitz AND the team must know what a total horse kick to the gut that would be for the fans…..and certainly wouldn’t go over well after disappointing 2016 AND 2017 seasons.

  28. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Contract

    I disagree. I think the last thing the team wanted was for Fitz to be anywhere close to free agency. Just in case.

    And again, while I don’t know what Fitz is exactly thinking, yes, I believe he could sign a contract if asked by the team and then choose to not play. Not saying it will happen, but I don’t rule it out. Kurt Warner was supposed to play in 2010 too, if you remember.

  29. By Scott H on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Fitz

    I understand. But regarding Fitz being anywhere close to FA…..I get it, but does anyone really believe Fitz was going to entertain playing elsewhere?? Surely, he and the organization have talked about this….

    RE: Warner

    Yeah, but the situations are not directly comparable. Warner signed a 2-year deal after the 2008 season. His true intentions? Don’t know. But rumors really started to swirl as the 2009 regular season was coming to a close, to a point where it really was sounding like Warner was done after 2009. Then, he got knocked into next week in that playoff game against the Saints, and…..it seemed like a done deal. I think he made his decision standing on the sidelines that day, before that game even ended.

    We knew Warner was wearing down, physically and emotionally, and injuries / life after football was weighing heavily on his mind. NOT to say those things don’t occur to Larry, but…..he HAS maintained very good health to this point, has had no serious injuries that might give him pause.

    And the time frames are different. Larry signing a deal in mid-Nov, then deciding to step down in early Feb would be so much more condensed than the time frame with Warner was. Warner had another full season under his belt before he opted to step down.

    Not really debating. Just sayin.

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