Although Larry Fitzgerald has said publicly that he isn’t involved in the Cardinals’ recruitment of Peyton Manning, Fitzgerald got to team headquarters bright and early this morning for the meeting at which the team will attempt to persuade Manning to relocate to Arizona.
Fitzgerald and the Cardinals’ assistant coaches arrived at team headquarters Sunday morning and were ready and waiting when head coach Ken Whisenhunt pulled up with Manning as his passenger, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.
It makes a lot of sense for the Cardinals to ask Fitzgerald to help recruit Manning: As great as Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne were for years in Indianapolis, Fitzgerald would be the best receiver Manning has ever thrown to. Developing a rapport with Fitzgerald could be just the thing to move the Cardinals ahead of the Broncos in the Manning sweepstakes. At the moment, the Broncos seem to be viewed as slight favorites, with the Cardinals in second place.
One person who reportedly isn’t at the Cardinals’ facilities is Manning’s agent, Tom Condon. That may signal that today’s meeting will be about convincing Manning that the Cardinals are the right fit on the field, and that contractual concerns are secondary. And without a doubt, if Manning is to be convinced that the Cardinals are the right fit on the field, Fitzgerald will be a big part of that.