Fitzgerald contract details emerge

Posted by Darren Urban on February 20, 2015 – 7:11 am

Former agent Joel Corry, who writes for the National Football Post and, released the details on the Larry Fitzgerald contract on Twitter this morning. The key parts: The Cardinals picked up $12.75 million in salary cap space for 2015. And the deal, while it’s technically through 2018, will automatically void the final two seasons (2017 and 2018, on paper right now as $16M salaries for each year). The voidable years are added to help with prorating the cap numbers.

That means Fitzgerald will be a free agent after the 2016 season. We may not be done with stories of the Cardinals, Fitzgerald and contract talks just yet. Fitzgerald won’t even have turned 34 yet by the time his new deal ends — and I don’t see him retiring at that point. Fitzgerald also got a no-trade clause in the deal, although he could waive that if he so chose.

Fitzgerald’s cap number, which had been $23.6M for 2015, dropped to $10.85M. His money is pretty straightforward. A fully guaranteed roster bonus of $10 million on the second day of the league year (March 11) plus a salary of $1 million in 2015, and a fully guaranteed $11M salary for 2016.

His cap number for 2016 should be about $15.85M (still a hefty number, but not as bad as $23.6M). His dead money left in 2017 after the contract voids (which the Cards must still deal with, regardless of what happens to Fitz at that point) will be about $9.7M.


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15 Responses to “Fitzgerald contract details emerge”

  1. By D on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Larry still got a lot more than he would have on the open free agent market for what his role is now at this age. He is no longer the outside threat, but is still getting close to that money for playing inside, blocking and still having great hands. I thought 8-9 mil per yr would have been more than fare, but Mr. B and Mr. Keim really wanted him to stay in the desert.

    I bet Darnell’s camp will take a lower salary if the Cards add another year to his deal, probably just working on the guarantee part now.

    I don’t see Ginn Jr. and probably Alexander still on the team, but they may not let Ginn Jr. go until after the draft and deep into free agency when they know they have a replacement. Powers won’t get released, like many people are guessing, he is too good in slot coverage and BA always speaks highly of him. Lyle S is another player in question, again the coaches say he had an off year (probably played hurt) but love his leadership. That is a hard position to replace when the Palmer window has about two years remaining. If they do replace him, I would guess it would be with a free agent, not a young player at this point in time.

    Another thing to do to free up more Cap space is to adjust C. Campbell’s deal, he isn’t going anywhere for several years, some could be pushed back if need be.

    Cards have had two years of winning and BA appears to be a coach players love to play for, both of that will be key into the Cards getting that one Impact free agent to come to the desert, no longer are the days where the only reason for players to come to AZ was to get overpaid and retire.

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Fitz is the master at getting great contracts. (or maybe credit goes to his agents). Nobody does it better.

    Bottom line, if you are a positive role model, Team player, perform in big games, and are reliable, good things will come your way.

  3. By LadyBird04 on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Yes, Larry probably got more dollars from the Cardinals than he would have gotten somewhere else, but he saved them almost $13M in cap space. We would have had a cap hit whether he stayed here or went somewhere else. The actual pay out this year won’t hurt the Cardinals’ bottom line. That was never an issue – cap space was the whole problem.

    Darren: Now, are the $16 million figures real salary or are they dead money left over from previous contracts? If it’s only (ha! ha! only) salary, that can and will be negotiated when the contract voids after two years, right?

  4. By Darren Urban on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    LadyBird —

    RE: Cap space

    I’ve updated the numbers above. His cap number is a little under $16M in 2016 and then he’ll have a “dead” charge of $9.7M in 2017, regardless of if he is gone or gets a new deal — so if he stays in 2017, it’ll be the new money, plus the $9.7M.

  5. By Mark on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    with Dockett’s tweet yesterday they must have insulted him with their offer. It sounds like he will be leaving. His tweet about loyalty and I will be in Arizona whether it is for 1 game or 8 seemed weird.

  6. By Cards fan in Missouri on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    I know you’re not privvy to the conversations, Darren, but you know the people involved.

    If you had to take a guess, what percent chance do you give of seeing Dockett with the Cardinals in 2015?

  7. By Darren Urban on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Cards fan in Missouri —

    RE: Dockett

    Hard to say. I think, for a 34-year-old coming off a major knee injury, he’s probably not going to get a ton of money. He has to decide how much he might want and what else might be out there.

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Cards did the best they could trying to repair a series of contract mistakes on Fitz. Still some cap pain ahead but light at end of tunnel as Keim has highlighted Onward… Keim, Bid won’t repeat mistakes of their predecessors… Fitz’ absence was glaring in two losses while he was hurt, so good keep of our team leader, look forward to C. Palmer to LF chemistry and SB run…

  9. By Joe C. on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    So in 2017 if Fitz signs for $1M, he gets $1M but the cap hit is $10.7M? Is there any way out of eventually taking a dead money hit for Fitz? I was thinking at one point you pay him the dead money hit even if he’s no longer worth it, just to keep him around and clear the contract.

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    Joe. C —

    RE: Fitz contract

    Correct on your initial point.

    And no, there will be dead money at some point. That’s why this has always been so sticky.

  11. By Joe C. on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    I guess if we drag this out long enough $10M of dead money will be chump change!

  12. By William Barry on Feb 20, 2015 | Reply

    I think Larry is the most gracious person on and off the field,,,,he never gets in trouble, his exemplary leadership always shows, he does not showboat, he commands respect….what else do you want from a team player!!!! This is why I am a true cardinal fan, and always will be.

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

    “gotta no trade clause”!? Ooookay, I’m just going to be quiet now.

  14. By Scott H on Feb 22, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Fitz is the master at getting great contracts

    I would say I agree with ya there, bud. I’m not sure if he has been with Eugene Parker all along but whoever gets the credit sure has done a hell of a job with Fitz.

    BUT just as the Cardinals have treated Fitz pretty damn well during his career, you would have to say Fitz has treated them pretty damn well, too. He has put himself into a position to be regarded as one of THE best WR’s of all time. He works his tail off to get better at every aspect of the position. His physical conditioning is top notch. He has never been involved in controversy or off-the-field issues. And as a face-of-the-franchise type player, he is right there with guys like Drew Brees or JJ Watt as the BEST you could hope for.

    Geez, I just wish we could go for more than 2 seasons before we have to worry about Fitz’ next contract….but I guess that is why you say what you say about him being the master!

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