Larry Fitzgerald, 15,000 and the future

Posted by Darren Urban on November 16, 2017 – 9:41 am

With his 113 yards last week, Larry Fitzgerald surpassed the 15,000-yard mark in his career. It’s significant in and of itself, since only five other players have ever reached that milestone in their careers. It’s even better for Fitz when he became only the second player ever to have that many yards with one team. Jerry Rice — the NFL’s all-time receiving yards leader, by far, with 22,895 — had 19,247 in his time with the 49ers alone.

Fitz is having another excellent year, one magnified by the fact he’s 34. He needs only 227 more yards to put himself third all-time in the NFL, past Randy Moss. (He doesn’t figure to get another 869 yards this season needed to pass Terrell Owens into second place.) Fitz remains some 50-plus catches ahead of the also-active Jason Witten as having the third-most receptions in NFL history.

The move up the all-time lists, though, makes me think back to the interviews Fitz was giving last season. He is currently 140 catches behind Tony Gonzalez, who is second all-time. (Rice is 364 ahead.) He could shave the Gonzalez lead down to about 100 or so by the end of 2017, but he made clear “I don’t plan on playing that long to catch those guys” just last season. And in the grand scheme, you are reminded again that Fitzgerald has a future to think about, and that his contract runs out at the end of the season. This, by the way, is the latest Fitzgerald has ever gone in his career not having a contract in place for the following season.

UPDATE: How’s this for coincidence. PFT is reporting Fitz and the Cardinals are closing in on a one-year extension. It would not mean Fitzgerald definitely would play in 2018. But if he does, it makes sure it’s with the Cardinals — as if that was ever really a question.

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32 Responses to “Larry Fitzgerald, 15,000 and the future”

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

    Darren –

    IF Fitz should decide he wants to play next year at any point beyond right now, do you see any way the team would not be receptive to accommodating that?

    Not that I know, but I would guess Fitz would want to know what the QB situation is going to be for 2018 before he would decide. Unless he already HAS decided he is done after this year.

    So, in terms of Fitz letting anyone know of his retirement….you think we might find a post-it on his locker door one morning saying –

    Good luck, guys. I’m out. Larry.

    Another question, Darren – IF Larry is playing his last season as we speak, do you think we would see any emotion from him during the last home game?

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Fitz

    If Fitz plays, it will be in Arizona.

    As for emotion, I don’t know. If he doesn’t make up his mind until after the season, maybe not. But something to watch for Christmas Eve.

  3. By JTDG on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply


    I am assuming there are no contract talks happening now either?

    He said he would not leave with “a good bye tour” so to speak either.

    if there was a glimmer of hope that this team would reach the super bowl in 2018, that could sway him (just my spectulation), but I don’t feel good about those prospects.

    The cardinals won’t be the same without him.

  4. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Contract

    Given circumstances, I don’t know if there would be “contract talks.” If he chooses to return, I would guess something would get done in short order.

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

    Good lord, please make this whole thing with the color rush uniforms stop! It hurts the eyes and it makes you feel like you’re watching an Arena League game instead of the NFL. And if THAT alone isn’t a good reason to stop doing it…..

    Looking at these Seahawk uniforms….and remembering the bright yellow Big Bird-looking uniforms the Rams wore last year….my God, can you imagine those two teams playing each other? It would look like a bunch of yellow and green high-lighters playing a football game.

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

    I feel like I can’t even remember the Cardinals without Larry Fitzgerald. Or, maybe I just don’t want to. And it is impossible to imagine the Cardinals WITHOUT Larry Fitzgerald. It’s even harder to imagine knowing there is NO heir apparent on this roster that looks ready to take over the shoes he has filled all these years. It looked like Floyd might be that guy, but….nope.

    I felt really good about our WR’s coming into this season….and, of course, that was based in large part in Fitz still being here. But yet again, he turns out to be our best / most consistent / most productive WR because he sustains his greatness AND no one else steps up to make their presence known.

    None of these other WR’s are showing that they are any more than supporting role guys. With Fitz gone, WR just becomes yet another area of tremendous need for this team.

  7. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    I think this is the end, sadly. Not that he couldn’t play another year at a high level… I just think he’s given us enough signals that football is not all that matters in his life.

    And I don’t think it matters who the QB is next year, or what our perceived SB chances are, or any of that. Fitz has been around football long enough to know that it’s possible to surprise (in the one year we DID make it to the Super Bowl, we were projected as a middling team — the Vegas O/U was 7.5 wins; in the year following “All or Nothing,” when people thought we had our best shot, we were 7-8-1).

    I hope I’m wrong, of course, but I don’t think we’ll see it. I do agree with Darren — he’s either a Cardinal or he retires. All this stuff about going to another team to get a ring is fan chatter. Fitz isn’t doing that.

  8. By D on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    We all should be appreciative of being able to watch a HOF WR here in AZ for the last 14 years. We all can assume the Cards chances of success would have been greater the last 14 years if Big Ben would have been drafted instead of Larry, due to the fact AZ had a very good WR on the roster in Q already but there was No Way anyone would talk Denny out of drafting Larry who has lived up to the high draft pick and the hype for a HOF career.

  9. By Marlin on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Sounds like the old Cardinals…. when the team stinks…. change the subject to Fitz and his records. Like some political spin.

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Spin

    Or — or — maybe it’s a topic that people are going to be talking about.

    If it bothers you, you’re free not to read.

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

    Kevin –

    I kinda think this year is the last for Fitz as well. Hate to say it, but I don’t know what reason there would be for him to return for 2018. He might be in reach of some notable milestones, but….I just don’t see him putting himself through the grind of another season with what will most likely be a losing team just for more stats. We all know he is going to the HOF, no doubt.

    And we all know he has a great life to move on to beyond his playing career.

    His decision to play in 2017 seemed strongly tied to Palmer continuing to play. For 2018, my sense if that what Palmer does no longer matters for Fitz. But….ya never know. Part of me hopes they both DO come back for another shot in 2018. But that is my heart talking. My head says it is time to move beyond the Carson Palmer era.

    Fitz CAN still play at a high level. As long as HE feels that way…..his return can never be ruled out.

    But I hope you didn’t take from my questions that I believe Fitz would EVER play for another team. No. I say definitely not. I believe he has NO interest in doing that. And I think that is the reason his name never really came up in rumors / discussions as the trade deadline approached.

    My question was if he decided he wanted to keep playing, would the Cardinals get a contract ready for him. And I suspect they may already have one in the drawer, ready for him to sign!

  12. By clssylssy on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    I was kinda surprised that Fitz retired this season when he has so many other avenues open for pursuit & don’t seeing him playing beyond this season. I would think he must feel let down by the organization he has done so much for. He has
    brought legitimacy to a franchise previously viewed as a joke and a sense of pride to Cardinal fans. Like Scott, when Larry’s out, so am I.
    I can’t wait to see what his next chapter brings but know he has left an unforgettable legacy in the football world for young people to follow for years to come. I feel blessed to have been here for the ride!

  13. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy, Scott H —

    RE: Fitz

    Did I miss something? Scott, you’re bailing as a fan when Fitz retires?

  14. By clssylssy on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Correction: returned not retired!

  15. By clssylssy on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    My bad, just re-read your post & misunderstood it. But, after supporting this team for 25 years, Fitz has been my sustaining reason to hang in.
    No regrets,many invaluable memories! But, I’m beginning to feel like a masochist & football shouldn’t be so painful & depressing!

  16. By Ben on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    I just cannot fathom watching the Cards play without Fitz…Can’t he just play until he is 60?

  17. By Jacob Hewitt on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Idk if u remember me when it was draft time but I said the Cardinals should have tried really hard to Draft D Watson. Do u think the cardinals should have gotten Watson now? I said earlier this year the cardinals should get Watson because Palmer would prob go down this season. So Darren Do u think the cardinals will get any QB while Palmer is down such as maybe Jake Coker or like someone anyone …… etc ??

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: QB

    Jake Coker?

  19. By Nick Pepe on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Wife and I will be traveling from Delaware to the Redskins game . Hoping to say thank you to Larry Fitzgerald. We are making a weekend of it. Wife is hoping to catch up and have a grog again with certain blog writer, even though she embarrassed herself the last time. It’s been an incredible run. I hope it doesn’t end, but all careers come to an end. Not too many times when elite players are still producing at elite levels this late in their career.
    He is the classiest man to play the game. A gentleman. And he he is the greatest Cardinal of all-time. I hope just get to say “thank you”. No need for him to acknowledge, just want him to hear it.
    And who knows, maybe Blaine takes us on a run and it’s fight for a playoff spot! See you in Landover Larry. And you too Mr Urban.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  20. By clssylssy on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    LOL! Futz is full of surprises as I see where he & the Cards are closing in on a one year deal through 2018! Can’t help but believe that means more BASK & the seasons that never end and remain the same…ARG!

  21. By Jacob Hewitt on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Haha just used a random QB name on the top of my head Jake Coker was runner up for the Heinzmann trophy a few years back he was the Alabama QB anyways. Darren do u think the cardinals will trade for any QB or try and sighn a free agent?

  22. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: QB

    Yes, the position will be addressed.

  23. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    There is an article today that Fitz and the Cards are having contract talks for 2018.

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

    Darren –

    RE: Bailing as a fan when Fitz retires.

    WHAT????? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT, Darren!!

    WHAT did I say that prompted you to ask that????

    One more time – Hell, no!! Look, I said, I really can’t even remember the Cardinals without Fitz. OK, an exaggeration. Truth is, I remember the whole ride, going all the way back to the mid-70’s. I was on board WAY before Fitz came along. There’s no getting off now. Or ever.

    You’re not getting rid of me that easily, my friend. Nice try, though! 🙂

  25. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Bailing

    It was a comment by Clssylssy.

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

    Hey, maybe I wasn’t so wrong after all…..I DID suggest that maybe they already had a contract for Fitz in the drawer, just waiting for him to sign!

    I knew it all along. Yeah, right!

  27. By CARDS62 on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scott I think you nailed it. I think best chance is if Carson can talk him into it. I mean no way Larry is catching Jerry Rice, but man he might want to pass TO and get second place. I can not see Whiten of the Cowboys playing past next year so you have to think he will not catch Larry if Larry comes back next season.

    I will love having Larry back next season, but unless we do a major overall even with Larry back next year I just do not see this team making a run. Its frustrating I mean one week John Brown looks great then nothing from him for 3 weeks, one week Nelson looks great, Colts game, then nothing for weeks, same for Jaron Brown, and Gresham is the least dependable. The group never looked worse to me than Thursday against Seattle. If these other guys could consistently play ball that will open it up for Larry.

    Hopefully he connects with Gabbert over the next few weeks and we can dream of him coming back next year, but we have to draft a QB first round this year. I love watching Larry play but it is painful for the most part watching our Cardinals play this year especially when we play teams with winning records. If Carson comes back he has to take a big pay cut.

  28. By clssylssy on Nov 16, 2017 | Reply

    Another typo , obviously I meant Fitz— don’t know if it’s this new phone or failing eyesight!

  29. By dan on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    Honeybadger has never been the same since he got his new teeth.

  30. By dan on Nov 19, 2017 | Reply

    Arians says he’s alway seen Gabbert as a starter in waiting but used a career backup QB……..peer pressure……..he needs to get rid of his buddies or he’s just collecting a check at this point……..this may be his last season.

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