Fitz, his contract and the future

Posted by Darren Urban on October 27, 2013 – 11:32 am

First of all, let’s consider the carefully crafted wording of Adam Schefter’s headline grabbing tweet this morning, the one in which he followed up the mention of a possible Larry Fitzgerald trade after the season. “Some believe a divorce is somewhere between possible and inevitable,” Schefter wrote, which is a little less than concrete (and doesn’t necessarily point to who “some” are.) The reality is this: Fitz carries an $18 million cap hit next season with a salary of $13 million. It’s an issue that has been on the radar for a while.

The idea that the Cardinals would talk to Fitz about his contract and a possible restructure not only isn’t a surprise, it’d probably be bad business not to explore that option. So too would be not at least looking at all options, which could include a trade. does a nice job breaking down the financial details of a potential trade and these are the things that have to be considered — especially if Fitzgerald ends up with another sub-1,000-yard season. There are many reasons why Fitz’s production is down and a chunk of it is out of his hands. But obviously, GM Steve Keim has to look at this team long-term. He’s already talked about having to make more “tough decisions” again this coming offseason. This isn’t to say Fitzgerald isn’t going to be a Cardinal next year. It’s way too early to know that.

I don’t have any doubt the Cardinals would want to keep Fitzgerald. But circumstances change, and so too do the circumstances (i.e. contract) under which they’d want to keep him. This isn’t about Fitz’s ability being wasted and needing to go somewhere where he can win — Fitzgerald has made more than $100 million, he freely signed his contracts, and he knew what choices he was making — but he is going to look out for himself and the Cardinals are going to look out for the franchise. (I would also be very curious, if a trade were explored, if the new team would accept the current contract or if they too would want a new pact.)

In that context, a divorce between many star NFL players and their respective teams would almost always be between possible and inevitable. The few that it wouldn’t apply to live in that window a relatively short time.

UPDATE: Fitz, when asked after Sunday’s game about the rumors: “I come to work everyday and just focus on how I can help the Arizona Cardinals and help my team win. If they decide to move me, that happens. I have no control over any of that. I just focus on what I can do to improve and help my team.”

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20 Responses to “Fitz, his contract and the future”

  1. By Dgmond on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    First let me say I am a big cards fan from day one. And I have seen before the cards let quality players go over the years because the organization don’t want to pay out. Larry is more then just a great player and the face of the team, in which people buy team items, but he’s a great asset to the other players. He didn’t ask for this contract, he agreed to it and now the team wants to penalize him cause of QB and O-line issues!!! We always talk about how the players need to be accountable for their actions and staying out of trouble, but the organization also needs to stand by their own words.. If the cards let Larry go, the team needs to write a hand written letter to all the fans asking for forgiveness for letting their few loyal fans down.

  2. By Dynosoar on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    As ONE of the FEW loyal fans, how is the team wanting to penalize Larry because of QB and O-Line issues? I’m not sure I understand your statement. Not critical, just trying to understand (and I like humor too much to let the “one of the few” line pass.)

    I believe Larry when he says he wants to remain a Cardinals player for life. He has offered to reduce his contract at least once to keep Boldin on the team. Unfortunately the rift was to great between Boldin and the FO, but Larry was still willing to play for less.

    I will be disappointed in Steve Keim if he doesn’t address keeping Larry and getting a QB who can sinc the way Warner did. But then again, Kurt was elite and there are very few Kurt Warner’s in the league. There are very few Larry Fitzgeralds in the league.

  3. By Darren Urban on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Fitz “offer”

    Let’s be clear on one thing: Fitz never offered to reduce his salary. He offered to restructure his contract, which would essentially mean getting more money up front and pushing cap money into later years.

  4. By cardinal on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    100% agree with Dgmond….can we for once , keep a quality player that can be a cardinal for his whole career !!!!!!!

  5. By georgiebird on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    The comments on not trading Larry make little sense. Of course, we would all like to keep Larry and get a Championship with Larry- he’s a great player and a credit to the NFL.
    The problem is multi-fold:
    1) the NFC West has two “monster” teams with young, franchise QBs
    2) the Cardinals don’t have a franchise QB-but desperately need one.
    3) Larry is 30 years old
    If we were in any other division in football, I would not have the extreme desire to trade Larry. What’s best for the team is the path we should pursue.
    Rather than trade Larry, I have a better idea. Let’s petition the NFL to have the Cards put back in the NFC East and have the Cowboys put in the NFC West.

  6. By Chuck 1 on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    If a team pays one player an exorbitant amount (compared to other team members), that means that it’s ability to sign FAs who fill other needs e.g a LT, a pass rusher, a S (who can defend a TE) etc. is severely limited.

    Would I like to see Fitz traded? NO!!!

    HOWEVER, there is a salary cap.

  7. By Devin on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    First, let me echo the remarks of the previous posts by saying that I would love to have Larry retire a life long Cardinal. He is an amazing asset.

    Now, for the reality of the situation… Does paying Larry $13m with a cap number of $18m make the Cardinals a Super Bowl contender? Does having all of that money tied up in one player make it easier or harder to get a franchise QB or improved, starter quality Offensive Linemen? I think not.

    Now, the likelihood of us trading Larry walk and then catching lightning in a bottle with a Colts-post-Peyton playoff run could be pretty slim, but has to be examined by the FO, as they look for the way to get a Lombardi Trophy to the desert. I haven’t looked at next year’s draft class, and don’t know who the potential suitors would be for Fitzgerald, but it would have to be a gimme before I let Fitz go.

    Think to yourself, do the Colts let Manning go if Luck isn’t sitting there for them? Would they have let him go if it were 2013’s QB class?

    It is an extremely difficult decision either way, and one that I am glad I don’t have to make.

  8. By James on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    First and foremost,I’m a Arizona Cardinals fan!I was a Cardinals fan long before Larry Fitzgerald got there and I’ll be one long after he’s gone.Would I like for the Cards to keep Fitz?Absolutely!Would I like for them to do that if it meant that they tied up the cap?I don’t think so.If it’s possible to field a competitive team AND keep Larry I’m all for that.If not,then maybe it’s time to say goodbye to Larry.What do you want?A team that’s competitive with money to be active in free agency and pay your YOUNG core players OR give Larry all of his money and then not be able to pay Patrick Peterson or Calais Campbell or D-Wash?I would love for Larry to retire a Cardinal and they see him win a super bowl WITH THE CARDINALS but if that’s not possible then God bless and life will go on without him(for me at least it will).

  9. By Freese on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    I guarantee, THAT IF! the Cardinals make ANOTHER such mistake, as letting the face of the franchise go?! All these record sell outs, of University of Phoenix stadium on game day will stop. People come to the game specifically for that reason, to see Larry!!
    Arians will turn the entire State of Arizona against him! We have never in the history of the Arizona Cardinals! Had a player that the entire State (Cardinal fan or NOT!) loves, admires, and respects, AND IS COMPLETELY PROUD that this wonderful individual has landed on OUR team!
    I say let the organization make that mistake! I guarantee that half of the season ticket holders will not renew their season tickets. Sometimes these organizations fail to see that peoples loyalties are to the players that they love! That is why tickets are sold?! It is why people pack in that stadium. People are there to see their favorite players in person.
    If the ONLY hope that Cardinals fans have, Larry Fitzgerald isn’t there? Man… the organization, as well as the Bidwills, will be showing the State of Arizona, that they care about nothing more than the bottom line. Not about the game, not about the State of Arizona’s pride, and certainly not about the loyal fans that have packed the stadium in week after week to see Larry Fitzgerald and the rest of a mediocre Cardinals team. People come to see the superstar of the team! The superstar of the organization! They certainly aren’t there to see Arians, or Keim, or the rest of the old guys making poor decisions!

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Freese —

    RE: Fitz

    Larry is a good guy. I like having him around. He is a great face of the franchise.

    And if the Cards win and he isn’t around, the team will sell out and the fans will love the team. Period.

  11. By Steve on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    I certainly would not trade Larry before the trade deadline Tuesday because the Cards are still alive in the division and more likely a wildcard berth. However come this offseason the Cards cannot afford to be too sentimental and must explore ALL their options including possibly moving Fitzgerald. It would be difficult to see Larry leave but if he has a good season and can bring in some high draft choices, Keim might be better off making that trade.

  12. By Matt on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    First and foremost the fact we are even mentioning a player like Fitzgerald even being traded is completely absurd Fitzgerald is not only an amazing player he is an outstanding role model and captain for the cards if the cardinals trade someone not only of his caliber but of his leadership for the team then I have absolutely no hope for the cardinals and the integrity of the gm and the owners mr bidwill they already had lost most of my respect when they let go of ADUB and now I am hearing this about Larry it is sickening

  13. By ored on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    love all that larry has done and brings,but look at the numbers,qbs are the cornerstone able to turn things around.we’re still ok until that time when we reach the level where too many other outstanding players want theirs also and we finally get a franchise qb,thats why most superbowl teams break up soon after,leaving a great qb to carry on with new mates.look around,brady loses recievers,brees loses recievers,etc.,etc. thing is we only have the reciever and not the great qb,so we should be ok for awhile,but soon patrick will want his,we already paid up for CC and washington,dd,before long so will ellington and tyrann,and we have’nt even found a franchise qb yet,and if we find that elusive pash rusher we long for,he’ll want to get paid also.

    might be true that larry just signed what we offered,but his agent did the arm twisting for him,that’s why player have agents,they know that owners have millions,and they make it their job to partake the long run it keeps the league balanced,fresh teams arrive to keep it interesting,but a select few stay close to the top,and that is usually by finding and keeping a franchise it’s all good until the time we find our franchise qb and he wants to be paid,then keims job becomes a little more interesting.brady is proving he can make other recievers around him better,so too brees and peyton,they have the ball in their hands every play,don’t think it works that way with recievers or rbs,that’s why they should’nt get qb type money,or at least until the time they can complete passes to themselves,lol.

    i just know we have alot of pieces for a really good team,once we get the o-line figured out and a franchise qb,we’ll be complete,just need to figure those two things out and then juggle the cap to make it work.hopefully for more than just a year or two.

  14. By ored on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    in retrospect,maybe we should have been more accomodating to kurt warner and played more hard ball with fitz.we let kurt shop around 1st before even making an offer,to think he could have been a 9er.anybody notice what calvin johnson of the lions did today…had bush proclaiming him the best reciever ever,hard to refute that.

    i’m just glad we got a win,ellington is proving to be a playmaker,the offense played better,our defense is for real,and we get some much needed downtime.
    looking toward the 2nd half and by that time will be getting stoked for the draft.

  15. By Greg on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Fitz is a big name and the face of the franchise but on the same note the cardinals will still sell out game tickets. The cardinals don’t only have 1 remarkable player on the team, they have several rookies and veterans as well. I am a cardinals fan and I myself can sit here and tell you I will watch, listen, and come to every game possible with or with out Fitz. Don’t get me wrong, I love that we have such a great receiver that is so well liked and respected but on the same note Fitzgerald isn’t the only player on this team. Every football team from the best right down to the worst has to make sacrifices with letting go a star player if a new contract cannot be place allowing cap room to form a super bowl team. And as far as the organization writing out letters to all the fans apologizing if it comes down to trading Fitz is just ridiculous. a Cardinals fan should and will always be a fan no matter if they are a 0-16 team right thru to a 16-0 team and no matter who the players are on the team. That’s what being a true fan and being a loyal fan is about.

  16. By Landin on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply


    Where did these rumors come from? And is there any way that they’re going to try and rework Fitz’s deal before they consider trading him?

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Landin —

    RE: Come from

    I think I addressed all of that — with links — in the above post.

  18. By Dynosoar on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply


    sorry if I touched a nerve (not sure if I did, but the “let’s be clear on one thing” comment makes me wonder.)

    I was actually commenting to Dgmon and just forgot to put his name at the beginning.

    Also, thanks for clarifying the “Fitz” offer, I misremembered.

    I don’t expect many to read this post as it’s older, but Palmer threw with over 70% accuracy Sunday. If we have 70% completion consistently, we have a Super Bowl caliber team and the QB “situation” is addressed.

  19. By isaac on Dec 11, 2013 | Reply

    well certainly he has had issues over the last couple of years, he CAN be a good pressure player and maybe with the right combination of QB and coaching it will be there……that’s why I have to admit that I am a huge KC fan and would be glad to have him….you don’t want him, send him our way think he would be a great addition to the chiefs!!!

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