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Fitzgerald feels the urgency to win

Larry Fitzgerald AP

As the clock continues to tick toward the deadline for 2012 franchise players to complete long-term deals, a franchise player who never found himself restricted by the franchise tag is feeling the pressure of his career biological clock.

Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald knows that he’s running out of chances to be a champion.

“Michael Irvin is at my house right now,” Fitzgerald tells Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic.  “And I’ve had long conversations with Jerry Rice.  I see the rings these guys have, and what they mean.

“When it’s all said and done, I don’t want people to say, ‘Yeah, he was a talented guy who put up numbers, but he was never able to win the ultimate prize.’  That’s where my mind-set is at.”

Fitzgerald, who turns 29 next month, has spent eight seasons in the NFL, with one Super Bowl loss to show for it.

“I don’t have another eight, nine years to play,” Fitzgerald said. “I would love to, but realistically, that’s not going to happen.  So the window of opportunity is short.”

That’s why he called out rookie Michael Floyd this week for missing three straight workouts this week.  “I probably wouldn’t have done that to anyone else,” Fitzgerald said. “But I’ve known Michael for years. We come from the same place.  We drank the same water.  I have a lot of pride seeing him in the NFL.  And we have a personal relationship that allows me to talk to him candidly.”

Fitzgerald also talked candidly about the fact that he nearly chose to be a linebacker at Penn State.  “I was heavily recruited as a defensive player,” Fitzgerald said.  “I had about 25 to 30 offers coming out, and probably 70 percent of them were defensive offers.  I grew up watching Penn State, and was really enamored by the defense at Linebacker U.”

He’s now enamored by the thought of winning.  And he knows time is running out.

“I tell [the young players], ‘Before you know it, you’re going to look down and find gray hair in your beard.  You’re going to be sore in parts that were never sore before.  It changes that fast, and I never realized that before.  So I need your best right now.'”

If Fitzgerald wants to win sooner rather than later, he definitely needs the very best from one of the team’s quarterbacks.  Even then, that may not be enough.

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14 Responses to “Fitzgerald feels the urgency to win”
  1. superdanlp says: Jul 15, 2012 6:12 AM

    He probably shouldn’t have signed a long term contract with a crappy team then huh

  2. jjrs89 says: Jul 15, 2012 6:17 AM

    If a Super Bowl is what he is after, why the hell did he sign that big contract with Arizona that takes him past his prime?

    No offense cards fans

  3. realitycheck21 says: Jul 15, 2012 6:25 AM

    GET OUT OF ARIZONA! Larry is a great player with loads of talent but he lacks a great supporting cast, especially at QB. If he wants a ring then he needs a ticket out of AZ bcuz he won’t get one there. Any hope of that left when Kurt retired. I hope he gets that elusive championship ring.

  4. drshankenstein says: Jul 15, 2012 6:26 AM

    I totally understand the want and desire to be a champion. I just don’t understand why so many players, make it out like their careers are incomplete without being one. Alot of players have rings.. Some have been MVPs of the Super Bowl.. But will NEVER get a bust in Canton. Being part of something great is memorable. Being great is forever. That says so much more than any ring can. This is THE team sport. It should say nothing negative about a player, that he never won a championship in this league. Unless its that the players around him weren’t as good as he was.

  5. ramcountry says: Jul 15, 2012 6:36 AM

    ““I don’t have another eight, nine years to play,”

    No, but you did sign an eight year deal, just last year, that made you one of the highest paid players in the game, which all but assured you to retire as a Cardinal.

    And with an organization that has had just three winning seasons since they left St. Louis.

    I don’t blame Fitz(or Steven Jackson, for that matter) for choosing financial security, but let it be known they both had their chance to go to a contender and chose to get paid instead.

  6. randallflagg52 says: Jul 15, 2012 7:01 AM

    Follow your former fellow wide out to Baltimore Larry. With you, Q, and Torrey Smith the Ravens are pretty much assured a SB appearance. They should have made it last year but Lee Evans made a deal with the mob to throw that game away…

    Seriously though, demand a trade to Baltimore. You won’t regret it.

  7. e23r0 says: Jul 15, 2012 7:08 AM

    Cardinals D coming up big and strong. Cardinals offense on the upswing as well with Skelton and Kolb having a real offseason. With a tough (esp away), respectable schedule look for the red birds to do some damage and show the NFL that the Whisenhunt (and Horton) system works.

  8. stevegallo says: Jul 15, 2012 8:43 AM

    This is pretty much lockstep with what Fitzgerald told me a few weeks ago when I asked him how he felt about having more receptions, yards and TDs than Jerry Rice did by the age of 29.

    Fitzgerald said, “I got a long way to go…, He had two Super Bowl rings already though…you gotta win…it’s a nice footnote, but we all play for the rings.”

    More players should be like Fitzgerald, both on and off the field. Yes he signed a very long contract but i am not going to fault him for his loyalty and also desire to get paid.

    However, with that said the follow up question I should have asked him, but out of respect didn’t was, “If you could choose between ending your career a Cardinal without a ring or leave and be guaranteed one, which would you choose?”

    Fitzgerald is a really good guy and I do hope that he can someday get his ring, because he truly is one of the greatest WRs to ever play the game, and it would be a shame for him to always have the “BUT” attached to conversations about his playing career when it is all said and done.

  9. stevegallo says: Jul 15, 2012 8:55 AM

    If anyone is interested in reading the article, “Football is More Than Tackles, Touchdowns & Stats” just click on my user name and I have a link to it at the blog I am starting. When I tried to post a link in the comment it flagged it for spam I guess since it wouldn’t show up.

  10. vols84 says: Jul 15, 2012 9:27 AM

    Why on earth did he resign with Cardinals, if he wants a championship? That makes absolutely no sense. Bill Bidwell will spend more on his bow-tie collection than on that team.

  11. realdealsteel says: Jul 15, 2012 9:51 AM

    If Kevin Kolb doesn’t pan out this coming season, then Fitzgerald needs to seriously consider asking for a trade..since he wants to win so badly. But like other posters have said..it’s hard feeling bad for him when he signed that long term deal. Kinda like selling your soul to the devil.

  12. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Jul 15, 2012 10:57 AM

    Sorry Larry, ain’t happenin there

  13. sufferingbirdsfan says: Jul 15, 2012 10:58 AM

    u wanna win come to the eagles

  14. footballchic777 says: Jul 16, 2012 8:48 AM

    I feel sorry for this guy because he is very talented, but I don’t think it is gonna happen with this team.

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