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Keim realizes Fitzgerald’s 2015 cap number could be a problem

Steve Keim, Daryn Colledge AP

Cardinals fans breathed a size of relief — and fans of teams that covet a Hall of Fame receiver uttered a profanity or two — when Larry Fitzgerald slashed his 2014 cap number from $18 million to less than $9 million.

Next year, however, it’s time to pay the piper, thanks to a cap number that shoots to $23.6 million.

In a Thursday sit-down with Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, Cardinals G.M. (and PFT 2013 executive of the year) Steve Keim acknowledged that the situation will have to be addressed next season.  Keim recognized that at some point Fitzgerald may have to take a pay cut to stay in Arizona, and Keim admitted that an outsider could believe based on the cap number that Fitzgerald may not retire with the Cardinals.

For now, the Cardinals have Fitzgerald under contract for one more year, and the team apparently plans to load up the roster via free agency, in the hopes of surpassing the 49ers and the Seahawks.  The restructuring helps the Cardinals toward that goal, even if it makes it much harder to keep Fitzgerald around for the long haul.

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25 Responses to “Keim realizes Fitzgerald’s 2015 cap number could be a problem”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 20, 2014 6:45 PM

    If they have a bad year they could always trade him just before the deadline.

  2. britishraven says: Feb 20, 2014 6:49 PM

    Man the Cardinals cap situation is ugly in 2015. Fitzgerald has a cap number of 23.6, Calais Campbell at 14.75, Palmer at 12, Dockett at 9.8

    Even if they cut Larry they’re left with 14.4 dead money

    Ouch

  3. kd75 says: Feb 20, 2014 6:57 PM

    Like a heart attack could be a problem.

  4. beardinals says: Feb 20, 2014 7:02 PM

    He’ll be cleaning up Graves’ messes for a few more years. Still a better situation than a lot of teams.

  5. hornbuckle says: Feb 20, 2014 7:12 PM

    Now if they just had a quarterback.

  6. realnflmaster says: Feb 20, 2014 7:14 PM

    What a horrible team down there in Arizona.

  7. luz56 says: Feb 20, 2014 7:14 PM

    I’ve said it all along…2014 or bust… 2015 is going to be a real mess.. Thank you Rod Graves and Whisenhunt

  8. nsauser says: Feb 20, 2014 7:15 PM

    I think the writing is on the wall, Fitz is gone. They can’t deal with that kind of cap number for a declining superstar. Yea, he should retire a Cardinal, that’s what one day contracts are for.

  9. bert1913 says: Feb 20, 2014 7:18 PM

    larry just restructured his contract to help out the team. lol

  10. chawk12thman says: Feb 20, 2014 7:28 PM

    NFC West will be tough this year and for a few years; then, back to reality for them. The trick is to try to improve to the point you can win it all, knowing you can’t stay at that top level long, given free agency and the cap…….try to get some compensation and free up future cap space.

    Seems like they may have a good plan. Make a run….If it is not happening, trade him to an AFC Team in the running for a playoff spot.

    Lots of teams have tried this method and it often works. Just blow up the team right after and start over……

    Hawks and 49rs’ are young and have their own issues with the cap in 2015 and beyond …..

    Looking forward to see what happens….Go Hawks!

  11. footballcrazyguy says: Feb 20, 2014 7:30 PM

    Keim didn’t have much choice but it is just pushing the problem down the road. Most teams do it – win now baby.

  12. jamiebuf12 says: Feb 20, 2014 7:59 PM

    one of the bad side effects of free agency.star players are asked to restructure their contracts over and over again.you keep pushing the big money towards the end of their career and then they just cut the player….so the player helps the team when they need cap releif and at some point the player that helped the team gets cut when the number gets too big :-( i know they gey big bonus money to help the team,but what is the incentive to be a team player?

  13. NCAA Injustice says: Feb 20, 2014 8:03 PM

    “size of relief”? Really?

  14. FinFan68 says: Feb 20, 2014 8:05 PM

    Both sides knew it was a 1 year deal when he renegotiated the contract. Larry will be a FA next year

  15. duluthvikesfan says: Feb 20, 2014 8:34 PM

    Perfect! After this season they can trade him to his home state of Minnesota just in time for the opening of the new stadium!

  16. luz56 says: Feb 20, 2014 8:39 PM

    DWash is due a 10M bonus in March… That will be interesting… I keep harping on it but Graves set us up for failure

  17. mrwalterisgod says: Feb 20, 2014 8:56 PM

    That team is gonna be really BAD in 2015 if they don’t get some young, good offensive talent here quick… Carson Palmer is on his last legs and Fitz and Floyd can’t carry the offensive by themselves. Ellington is a nice change of pace guy, but not a stud every down back.

  18. azvikefan says: Feb 20, 2014 9:24 PM

    Time to go home Larry! The Vikes need you next year.

  19. taintedsaints2009 says: Feb 20, 2014 9:55 PM

    he needs to go to new england, new oreleans, denver, seattle, somewhere where he can have his skills skyrocket.

    dude is like randy moss. all the talent in the world. spent most of his career with sub par quarterbacks. no coincidence when moss and fitzgerald played with hall of famers they looked unstoppable.

  20. cmmnsense says: Feb 20, 2014 10:20 PM

    Come Home Larry! We’ll have a QB next year. I promise. One season with you Wide Right, and AD in the back field. Oh yeah.

  21. ronin36 says: Feb 20, 2014 10:43 PM

    My idea for the CBA would be for vested veterans (guy who’ve played.. oh say.. 10 or more years for the same team) have a percentage of their salary excluded from cap calculations.

    Play with numbers all you want, but still a small number, say no more than 10% excluded.

    This would help teams keep their “faces of the franchise” and their veteran leadership. And not get in the cap-purgatory some teams get find themselves. Having to cut a beloved leader, not because of their productivity, but because of their price-tag. This wouldn’t effect too many teams, and not too many players. And it’d be a good-will gesture by both the league and the individual teams.

    Just a thought…

  22. mnsadsportsfan says: Feb 20, 2014 11:43 PM

    Man I would love to see this guy with a great QB!

  23. brownsmakemecrazy says: Feb 21, 2014 12:24 AM

    All NFL contracts for elite players are is a shell game. Teams always back load the big mney in years they know they wont pay them. Frankly its a scam. If anyone deserves big money its Larry Fitzgerald. Guy is great on and off the field. The only thing that truly matters is how much guaranteed money players receive.

  24. NakedCowboy! says: Feb 21, 2014 3:03 AM

    fwd to future: 2/21/2015: Fitz restructures his contract again. Gets 2 mil in 2015 and 180 mil in 2016.

  25. patriottony says: Feb 21, 2014 5:29 AM

    There is something to be learned from the PATRIOTS business model. EVERY single year they are in the Superbowl or AFC championship game. Yet they don’t overpay ANYBODY,,get criticized when they let people walk,,,but guess WHAT? Never a CAP problem….

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