Fitz talks contract and the never-ending rumors

Posted by Darren Urban on January 30, 2014 – 1:22 pm

If there has been one constant for Larry Fitzgerald every offseason it’s been some kind of (wild) speculation that he could be on the move. This usually tends to come up right around the Super Bowl, so when Fitz is doing his annual trek through Radio Row that week, he ends up needing to address it. Sort of address it, I guess, because Fitz is as adept at sidestepping such controversy as he is high-pointing a catch. He also, as usual, had to talk about his contract, which sports the scary $18 million salary cap number for 2014.

Fitz was back on Radio Row today, so of course, the popular topics came up. During an interview on “The Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta” via Arizona Sports 98.7, Fitzgerald was asked about the potential restructure of his contract. That’s always interesting, since restructuring is not a pay cut and usually puts more money in the player’s pocket right away. And while Fitz didn’t say it directly, he did seem to leave the door cracked — a teeny-tiny bit — about a pay reduction. (Although, no, I don’t see Fitz agreeing to a pay cut. He’s a businessman. That will be very, very interesting to see how it comes out.)

But in terms of talking to the team about his contract, Fitzgerald said “when those discussions come I will do what I need to do. I have a great relationship with (GM) Steve Keim, he drafted me in Arizona. I understand his vision and what he is trying to do and the direction he is taking this ballclub. I understand at 30 years old there are things that need to change. That’s part of football, that’s part of being an older veteran.

“I want to see this team do well. I love this group of guys. Patrick (Peterson’s) deal is coming up and he needs to be compensated as the best corner in the game, which I feel he is. We’ve got to take care of Karlos Dansby, Frostee Rucker, there are a lot of guys that deserve to be compensated for their play. And I understand that.”

Earlier in the week, there was a report out of New England saying the Patriots had been interested in dealing for Fitzgerald in the offseason of 2013. How deep this was is up for debate, but again, even if the Cardinals were looking to trade Fitz — which I don’t think they are — there are a ton of moving parts because of the contract and the dead cap money that would come with it. During an appearance on WEEI, which is the big sports talk station in Boston (and which posted the photo below), there wasn’t a ton of Patriots/Fitz talk, but inevitably, it came up.

“If (the Cardinals) felt like that’s what they wanted to do, I would have no choice,” Fitzgerald said about such a trade. “Playing with Tom Brady, you couldn’t go wrong with that.” Fitzgerald added that “I have no idea if it was true.” Jim Gray, the TV/radio personality who knows Fitz (and Brady, for that matter) well having hosted their weekly radio Monday Night Football radio interviews — Fitz’s spot is sponsored by University of Phoenix, dontcha know — for a few years, was on the air too. He said to Fitz directly “Did (the Cardinals) ask you?”

Fitz was quick in his response. “No.” Fitz knows such questions are coming. He still never sounds comfortable having to deal with them.


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31 Responses to “Fitz talks contract and the never-ending rumors”

  1. By D on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    18 mil cap hit for a non QB makes me want to curse R. Graves. Can’t blame Larry or his agent, no one should have said No on Team Larry (not that their union would allow that)

    I would create other after Football financial avenues for Larry to take a pay cut, ie, tv gig with Urban as long as he wants, after he retires create for him a 25yr six figure salary board of director gig of Cards…go to Tempe and work out sponsorhip with American Airlines to travel the World with Larry…

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    (Although, no, I don’t see Fitz agreeing to a pay cut. He’s a businessman. That will be very, very interesting to see how it comes out.)

    I always wonder about this part. I have seen players refuse to take a pay cut and then get half of what they were making on the open market. I am NOT saying that will be Larrys case. Just, sometimes being a smart business man is taking the deal in front of you.

    Darren, in your opinion, do you think Fitz would land the same kind of money in the open market, whether traded or cut?

    BTW, Lets be clear, I am for restructuring Larry’s deal and keeping him a cardinal.

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Fitz open market

    Do I see him making the same? No. But if you find out his market value, he’s gone. I believe that.

  4. By jasonc on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    Kent Somers tweeted: Mike Bidwill said the Cardinals have had discussions w/Fitz’s agent. “We’re excited he’s going…to work with us to help improve the team.”

  5. By D on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    If the rumors were true, I would think Belicheck/Kraft must believe Larry would restructure/sign a new deal to play with Brady and chance at a ring, because I doubt NE has room for his current deal.

    I just don’t see Larry, Dockett and Colledge all keeping their current deals in 2014, one or two will have be change in order for Cards do sign some of their own and or sign any free agents…right Darren?

  6. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    D –

    RE: Contracts

    Those are the same names I have been referencing for a while.

  7. By Hammy on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    If Larry does hit the open market then I would think he would go with the team that has the best chance to win and right now it is unsure if its in Arizona? Yes he is the face of this franchise but lets face it, we need more pieces to the puzzle than just retaining Larry Fitzgerald. It can be said that Michael Floyd was the better reciever last year. We can definetly see what we can get for him to make this team better and if it is the right deal for both Larry and and Cardinals then we bode him farewell like we did Anquan.

    Give me a first round pick from a contending team in this years draft then I will say YES we need to trade him.

  8. By Hammy on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    Too many Cardinals fans worship the ground that Fitzgerald walks on. If it is in the best interest for the future of this ball club then sometimes you have to make those hard decisions.

  9. By kauaicardfan on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    Losing Fitz would be a big blow to what we have now.
    An even bigger fear is having a division opponent pick him up and having to face him twice a year! Bolden is a prime example that he should have remained a Cardinal for life !!!

    Kiem do you magic and keep this train moving full speed ahead !

  10. By infitzwetrust on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t see Larry getting a better contract than the last one he signed….
    if he decides to leave, will he get more than he would had he just restructured? very interesting how this plays out

    hey D, are they any special circumstances in his contract that give the cards some kind of leverage?

    also, if it came to a trade, do u think teams would offer multiple picks, maybe a first? not a first at all? do u see a team paying a kings ransom for him?

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    infitz —

    RE: Fitz questions

    1) Fitz definitely has the leverage.
    2) I’m not sure Fitz can still fetch a first-round pick when he will be 31 before the season. If he did, that’s the extent. Not any more picks. I do not see a team paying a “ransom.”

  12. By ored on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    just a couple of years ago a saints guard became a free agent,i thought at the time we should’ve signed him since he was touted as being elite,he signed with a southern team,maybe florida,but anyway his reported contract was’nt as steep as colledge’s…what the hell was graves doing, just rubber stamping every contract the agents presented,no wonder boldin was upset,he played with a broken face,but when he wanted some of what everyone else was getting,was’nt happening.i know keim won’t ever say so openly but he had to be having a fit watching some of graves bonehead moves,no wonder it’s gonna take 3 years to clean his mess.i think keim said he wanted peterson instead of levi,right then he should have been promoted.whatever salary demands are from keim in the future,don’t even think about it…just sign,the money alone you save from incompetent decisions will more than justify it.besides who else has a gm and a coach so in tune
    they even look like brothers,well from a top view anyway.

  13. By andystandsup on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    Am the only one that was surprised, when mentioning names of FAs that need to be paid, that the second one off his lips was Frostee Rucker?
    Not his fellow WR and supposed good friend, Andre Roberts? Not Mendenhall, Winston, Dray, Feely, Shaughnessy, Cason or Bell?
    Not even Everrette Thompson?

    Frostee Rucker.
    Open up the wallet, Mr. B. Mr. Fitzgerald says pay the man.

  14. By Big Ken on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    “Playing with Tom Brady, you couldn’t go wrong with that.” Larry is dreaming about it. I think he wants a super bowl ring. He’s frustrated. And I don’t think it’s about money with him.

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Fitz/money

    You don’t know him very well.

  16. By Eazy E on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    We don’t need imo to ask Fitz for a restructuring or a pay cut because he’s had to fight through these terrible QBs arizona has gave him and still produces as best as any WR in the league can with them. The Patriots rumors I saw the other week and they are meaningless because it was last offseason and is coming out now. #Fitz a cardinal for life #Address the damn QB

  17. By Christo on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Too many of us will be tricked into thinking we can compete with Larry’s ridiculous salary.

    He has us cornered for now.

    He’ll be gone after this year.

  18. By Big Ken on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    @Darren Ouch! Hey I got beat up last week for calling him a diva in decline.

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Fitz

    I don’t think Fitz is a diva. I really don’t. But it’s always about the money. Always. Not just with him.

  20. By Big Ken on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Yeah all the guys you gotta make it while you can. True for all of us.

  21. By uptownbear602 on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    I see no reason why Fitz won’t consider the options presented by the FO regarding a restructure. Any player in the league is playing first and foremost for the money. Its a career just like any other. I can garauntee you that Fitz isn’t going anywhere and he will not leave a single dollar on the table. However Fitz isn’t the type of player that would hold up the team from improving its chances at the post season. No matter what anyone says that’s SK’s job not Fitz’s and Fitz just like any player likes his money. How do you think he takes all those exotic vacations?

  22. By dAVE on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Larry Fitzgerald means more than just football numbers to this team but more importantly to this organization. His selflessness and professionalism throughout his career has made a positive impact not only on the Cardinals but on the NFL during these days of primadonnas and self absorbed millionaires. I, myself would hate to see him move on but for Larry’s sake, if he were to go to the Pats, I would be very happy for him. He deserves to put up numbers toward the end of his career that he’s sacrificed over the last few years by playing with less than average QB’s (that’s putting it politely).

  23. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Read some noise about Boldin coming back and Fitz leaving, interesting off season coming up. Notable: the GM, HC and OC of Boldin’s time here are history as well.

  24. By Darren Urban on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Boldin

    Anquan is not coming back.

  25. By Big Ken on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Re: Bolden He looks like Barry Bonds after he got kick out of baseball, all puffy and swollen. Lets draft a WR. First round!?There are some good ones available.

  26. By ored on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    make a lot of money because they spend a lot, for the Pats,seems to me we beat them not too long ago and i would like our chances again this time around.just might be time for a redbird to roost at the top for awhile,on that point i hope they can work something out,would be beyond awesome if we won a SB next year in phoenix with as many of the same players here that played in the last one we were in.did’nt that sound incredible,multiple SB appearances…with returning players.make it happen guys.

  27. By jaime on Feb 4, 2014 | Reply

    Best shot at a ring is with the cards right now, patriots are old guard. Larry knows this team under Bruce is going to the show again and again, almost did it this year (this rebuild year) WOW!! Old football fans need to put the past behind them and see the future. Big Red Future!!

  28. By Mike in Gilbert on Feb 4, 2014 | Reply

    Sounds on FB like Larry’s signed it already?!?!

    Wow, nice!

    right at 3pm az time, today

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