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Fitzgerald thanks Whisenhunt, Graves

Larry Fitzgerald AP

As the regime changes in Arizona, the team’s most important player has spoken out.

“We all shoulder the blame for a disappointing season which began with such promise,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said, referring to the team’s 4-0 start.  “A unique relationship with all of my coaches past and present is a valued life experience.  I would like to thank them all, especially Coach Ken Whisenhunt and General Manager Rod Graves who gave me the opportunity to live my dream in the NFL.

“Even in the midst of a tumultuous season, it was still a pleasure to work with the staff we served under, and for that, we remain grateful.  Their professionalism will provide for renewed accomplishments in different environs.  We all, to a man, thank them and wish them the best.”

It’s classic Fitzgerald, who always says the right thing.  But we can’t help but wonder what he really thinks about the situation.  On one hand, Graves and to a lesser extent Whisenhunt have helped Fitzgerald become incredibly rich.  On the other hand, they failed for the past three seasons to provide him with a competent quarterback.

Then again, Fitzgerald made his bed in August 2011, when he chose a long-term deal over playing out his four-year, $40 million contract and forcing his way to the open market, given that the Cardinals were contractually prevented from using the franchise tag to keep him in Arizona.

And that’s the one question to which we’d love to know the true and unvarnished answer.  If Fitzgerald could go back to the moment he applied pen to paper, would he do it again?

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34 Responses to “Fitzgerald thanks Whisenhunt, Graves”
  1. pillowporkers says: Jan 1, 2013 12:10 PM

    Dear Larry,

    We’d love you back in Minny.

    Sincerely,
    Avid Vikings fan

  2. bechillin says: Jan 1, 2013 12:11 PM

    Such a class act. You don’t see this kind of loyalty to organizations anymore.

    They need to do everything in their power to get him a real QB

  3. otis52gsh says: Jan 1, 2013 12:16 PM

    They do not come with more class than this young man.

  4. jakec4 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:17 PM

    He had it good with Boldin and Warner for a short time. Fitz seems like a good guy, but he isn’t one of these marquee players who has never had a shot on a winner. The Cardinals ever being relevant again will have a lot to do with him because Fitzgerald made the choice to commit his best years to Arizona, and he is a game changer.

  5. dirtdawg54 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:18 PM

    You can live your life regretting your choices or you can live your life living up to them. Larry Fitzgerald impresses me as someone who believes in the latter.

    I suppose if we all had access to a time machine we could go back and make different choices, but why do we presume that would have meant better outcomes?

    And why do we question what Fitzgerald is saying? He’s been consistent his entire career in acknowledging his good fortune and the good people around him.

  6. beretta96d says: Jan 1, 2013 12:19 PM

    Hindsight is always 20/20

  7. keepingitrealdumb says: Jan 1, 2013 12:21 PM

    he made the right choice to take the money and stay. they showed commitment to him and he should and does show commitment to them.

    it was this coach/GM combo that took them all the way to the SB and nearly a win. can’t win all of them .. only one team wins each year .. they gave it a shot and it didn’t work out .. doesn’t mean it was not a good choice.

  8. desertrace21 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:22 PM

    Hands down, one of the classiest guys in the NFL.. Yet every time you write about him you question his sincerity? Of course he is not happy with the results of the season.. But “always saying the right thing” is not a bad thing! If every big NFL star was as humble as Fitz, and the NFL would be a better place!

  9. logicalvoicesays says: Jan 1, 2013 12:25 PM

    Demand a trade to the Redskins Larry.

  10. giantsfan82 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:26 PM

    He’s an awesome receiver on a horrible team. He’s wasting all of that talent. Similar to Calvin Johnson, except CJ has a decent quarterback to get him the ball. Fitz… Not so much.

  11. wisewoo says: Jan 1, 2013 12:31 PM

    If your college alma mater has an awful sports program for the next ten years and into the foreseeable future, do you give up on it? Do you regret going there in the first place?

    Some men believe in loyalty. Some men believe in this especially when he feels loyalty to the team that helped him reach his dreams.

    Yes, some men can be real, stand-up men and Fitzgerald is one of them. I would never stay in AZ but to each his own.

  12. shutupbrees says: Jan 1, 2013 12:35 PM

    Fitzgerald’s the man. But his contract to some extent sunk this team. They were constantly throwing resources towards appeasing him at WR and QB, which lead to numerous wasted draft picks.

    You can’t build a team around a WR. They should try and move him for what the Falcons gave up for Julio Jones.

  13. scoobies05 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:37 PM

    with all due respect to the amazing calvin johnson i have long thought that larry fitzgerald is the best wr in the sport. and of more importance he is a very good man. it would be so easy for a player of his stature to complain and try to force his way out of a bad situation. yet he handles himself with grace class and dignity. its too bad that guys like him dont get more attention and we have to constantly hear stories about the bad guys in sports.

  14. cryanr says: Jan 1, 2013 12:38 PM

    No, he doesn’t regret it.

    Larry cares way too much about his legacy to give a damn. If he jumped ship, his legacy would not be what it will be when he retires. He’s a Hall of Famer if he retires tomorrow anyway, staying home and portraying this kind of loyalty to an organization is what cements his legacy.

    That’s why he resigned. The best legacies are those had by people who stick with one team their entire career. It’s definitely changed lately, but it still holds true.

  15. roma9496 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:40 PM

    Class act

  16. mazblast says: Jan 1, 2013 12:42 PM

    Fitzgerald isn’t Arizona’s most important player. He’s their ONLY important player right now.

  17. 49erstim says: Jan 1, 2013 12:42 PM

    Wow. What a class act. There is nothing that can be said negatively about this man. Well done Fitz.

  18. kelshannon19 says: Jan 1, 2013 12:58 PM

    Fitz would look great opposite of Andre Johnson in Houston.

  19. lightcleric says: Jan 1, 2013 12:58 PM

    To be fair, he signed that contract before the 2011 season started. I don’t think he expected Kolb to bomb this badly and for management to put together statistically the worst offensive line in the NFL.

  20. CKL says: Jan 1, 2013 1:08 PM

    If you don’t love Fitz, you don’t love the NFL IMO.
    He’s a joy to watch and a fantastic human being.

    I’m sure he’s disappointed in how things have gone, but the fact of the matter is that we all dissemble sometimes when we are in not so ideal situations. A lot of times it’s for unselfish reasons like we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or reputation unnecessarily over something that’s unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

    In Larry’s case, I admire it because he is a smart man who realizes he made a choice to stay and to complain about it now would be to shirk responsibility for his own choice. Larry’s not the type of guy to do that IMO.

  21. shotgunformation5wide says: Jan 1, 2013 1:12 PM

    Unfortunately, Larry, you are a salary cap killer! You are WR getting QB money. You don’t touch the ball every play and/or can be taken out of a game with a good corner, double coverage and/or triple coverage. With that being said, a complete team can’t be amassed around you because of salary cap restraints. Jus sayin’.

  22. bobzilla1001 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:15 PM

    When Fitzgerald applied that pen to paper, he knew exactly what he was signing up for: Lots of cash and the opportunity o be the face of a franchise that is poorly owned and operated.
    Fitzgerald seems like a great kid, but it would be ridiculous to feel sorry for him.

  23. dioalice says: Jan 1, 2013 1:19 PM

    Fitz is total class. He is the hardest working man in the NFL and someday I hope his efforts and ethics are rewarded with a ring.

    As a Cardinals fan since 1970, Fitz is absolutely the greatest Cardinal to ever wear the jersey. He does it with pride and in a world where the concept of team has been replaced by “give me the ball”, he stands nearly alone.

    He understands loyalty and commitment and he will, as he has repeatedly stated, be a Cardinal for life.

  24. grogansheroes says: Jan 1, 2013 1:22 PM

    Larry, please come to New England and play with a Hall of Fame coach and Quarterback. You were born to be a Patriot.

  25. koenig61 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:23 PM

    Why do we as people always assume that someone isn’t telling the truth, simply because if we were in their situations, we would react differently than they? Sometimes we should just take people for their word, and believe that what they are saying is the unvarnished truth. True many of us may react differently than Fitzgerald is reacting, but simply because we would react or behave differently, doesn’t mean that Fitzgerald isn’t giving us the unvarnished truth.

  26. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: Jan 1, 2013 1:26 PM

    Sad that classiness and loyalty are so rare in sports today that whenever a player does exhibit such quality, their genuineness is immediately questioned.

  27. boyshole25 says: Jan 1, 2013 1:27 PM

    Made his bed? I’m sure he’s happy seeing as he could make one of pure gold and play slip n slide in puddles of hundred dollar bills

  28. jutts says: Jan 1, 2013 1:52 PM

    You kinda gotta feel sorry for a guy with his talent even though he makes tons of money. But in Az. he will never win crap.
    If Az. wants to get good they are gonna have to trade some talent and start over.

  29. riverhorsey says: Jan 1, 2013 1:52 PM

    Hindsight is always 20/20

  30. woodyg says: Jan 1, 2013 2:16 PM

    Fitz may have class but he also has $13,250,000 salary for season 2012. —- That’s more than 10% of the team’s cap used on a non-QB.

    Fitz managed 71 receptions for 798 yards in 2012. That’s nearly $187,000 per reception & nearly $16,605 per yard. —— Easy to see why Fitz is so gracious & also why Arizona won a paltry 5 games.

  31. fdugrad says: Jan 1, 2013 2:50 PM

    Mr. F. is truly a gentleman, however other than his salary, which he would have received from ANY team to which he jumped, it is hard to understand exactly WHAT he is thanking the above men for doing, regarding his “stalled in the doldrums” career.

  32. djjackson81 says: Jan 1, 2013 3:40 PM

    We all agree Fitz is a blessing as a man on Arizona’s team and let’s not forget his own choice to resign. He is the face of the franchise wish he would allow the contract dollars re worked maybe extra years added to allow less money against cap. I doubt he ever demands a trade

  33. shaunypoo says: Jan 1, 2013 3:42 PM

    Yes he seems like a great guy, but do any of these guys realize that the teams they sign these mega huge contacts with also have a salary cap to deal with?

    I am fine with a player getting as much as they can, but I have no pity for you when you hamstring your own team. When you look around and see so little talent, take a look and see how many high priced players are on your roster.

  34. billbrasky72 says: Jan 1, 2013 4:46 PM

    Harvin straight up for Fitz? Looks like Reid going to AZ. Has good luck straightening out players with attitudes. If he could deal with Desean Jackson, he can surely deal with Harvin.

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