Cardinals may already be detaching from Fitzgerald


With a revised contract that dropped his 2014 cap number from $18 million to $9 million, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald ensured that he’d spend another year with the team.  The corresponding increase in his 2015 cap number to $23.6 million could make the coming season Fitzgerald’s last season in Arizona.

At the Scouting Combine, Cardinals G.M. Steve Keim admitted that, to an outsider, it may appear that Fitzgerald won’t retire with the Cardinals.  For his part, Fitzgerald has said that he’s focused only on 2014.

The Cardinals can’t afford to focus only on 2014.  They have a team to run indefinitely into the future, and they need to be thinking about next year even before the current year starts.

In that vein, the Cardinals seem to be already detaching from Fitzgerald, based on a report from veteran NFL writer Dan Pompei.  Based on his visit to camp, Pompei notes that “Michael Floyd is in for a big year,” and that “[s]ome people in camp think he’ll be their No. 1 [receiver].”

While that may indeed be a testament to Floyd, the opinion can’t be expressed or considered without acknowledging Fitzgerald and his $23.6 million.  Especially with Floyd having a cap number of only $2.7 million in 2014 and $3.172 million in 2015.

69 responses to “Cardinals may already be detaching from Fitzgerald

  1. He had Warner for a few years and put up huge numbers, since then not much. A Hall of Fame receiver IMO who probably will never get in because of lousy QB play.

  2. Cards would be fools to let the best player in franchise history to leave. He’s worth more to the cardinals than 24million. He’s the face of the franchise and a leader in the community.

  3. Why didn’t he go to the Patriots when he had the chance? Why keep staying on a team that can never win anything? He’d of still gotten paid by the Patriots. Just doesn’t make any sense.

  4. $18 Million last year, $23 Million next year? So many players sign contracts that are so back-loaded, it makes it almost impossible for a team to keep them for the entire contract. Better to have a contract that is more consistent across the years that also compensates for performance. (I’m not really sure how performance laden contract affect cap space. Does a team have to set aside any money that is potentially paid out?)
    That being said, the Cards look good this year. We’ll know game one when my Chargers head down there. Should be a great game.

  5. I’ve had dreams for years now that Larry Fitz would catch passes in midnight green. (Ok, in my dreams it was kelly green). Even if he’s on the decline I’d still love to see my dream come true. Excellent locker room leader as well as a great mentor for a young reciever.

  6. He is probably ready to go… to Denver so he can win. Im a Cowboy fan and I know we cant help him do that… sad sad year coming for us

  7. I am hearing another extension in years.. Fitz does not want to leave and will do all he can to stay.. Their big problem is they don’t have a starting QB for 2015

  8. C’mon Vikings–make this happen. Can you imagine Fitz and Cordarelle Patterson running routes for Teddy Bridgewater next year, while AP runs for 2,600 yards? Let’s do this!

  9. Why would he leave a non playoff contender to another never has been, was or ever will be contender with Minnesota? Who will be last in their division yet again this year.

  10. When Floyd was the 1st round draft pick 3 years ago the writing on the wall started. I think with that contract he won’t be traded…he’ll be told he’s free to test the market, and either some team will overpay or he will forego some money in exchange for being one of those rare players who spends a career with one team as the face of the franchise long after they stop playing. I could see him sticking around as a coach…he already coaches up younger players around the league, and has even been known to let rookies crash at his house.

  11. The days of old will never come back as fan loyalty is quite different from player loyalty. Fans are stuck in so much as they are probably fans because of the team is generally from the area in which the fan lives but the player is only loyalty to the team because of the money in his contract.

  12. Guys like Fitz deserve better, but that 2015 cap number. Wow! Fitz blew it by setting himself up to be waived in the last year of the contract because no NFL team can afford a non-QB cap number of 23 million. He’s leaving a huge number on the table when the Cards cut him.

  13. The WR for The Arizona NFL Franchise should have plenty of takers but will probably have to take a little less to be with a contender.

  14. I have always felt you never ever give big time contracts to WR’s regardless if they are top 5 in the league , Unless you were sure you had a STUD at Quarterback.

    Arizona went the other way around instead of finding a STUD QB then securing a stud WR .WE even see it now with teams like the Buffalo bills who give up next year NUMBER 1 pick for a receiver.When the team is now going on hope now with a 2nd year rookie QB who was not only hurt but far from impressive.

    Note to teams!! if you can’t secure or isn’t sure about a stud QB . just go build up your DEFENSE until further notice.

  15. I love arm chair GMs on here who scream for their team to deal for Fitz without taking into account the small fact that he’s due to make $23.6 million next year. Not many teams can afford salary cap hits like that, and those that can likely won’t use it on a wide receiver. In order for a deal to be struck, the team acquiring him would have to work out a new contract deal, which would only push out his big cap hits into further years out, and that would only compound the problem.

    I don’t have the faintest idea where Fitz will play in 2015, but the resolution to this situation isn’t nearly as simple as a team stepping up to deal a draft pick or two in exchange for him.

  16. The difference between Fitzgerald and Johnson? Johnson consistently had the same quarterback while Fitzgerald has been using a new QB every year since my saints demolished the cardinals.

  17. Would it be possible for him to sue the team for wasting so many years of his great career? I couldn’t understand why he re-signed.

  18. Fitz grew up in the Trash Cities but that hometown discount only goes so far. If he has learned anything in the NFL as a star WR, your upside potential is married to a decent QB and the Viking’s don’t have one now, haven’t had one for a very long time and next year isn’t looking too promising either.

    This late in his career, he needs to start thinking about getting a ring and the Viking’s history in that department is as depressing as you will find in the NFL.

  19. I’d be shocked if he’s still here a year from now. He hasn’thad a 1000 yard season in 2 years and seems like they’re going out of their way to say how much better Floyd has gotten, even intimating that he’s now the #1 receiver. Unless he wants to take a pay cut, which I don’t see from him, I’d expect him to move on next spring.

  20. If a team trades for him, they don’t pay the cap charge the Cards carry, they are just on the hook for whatever his base salary and bonuses paid in that year are. The Cards take a huge hit against the cap regardless of whether they cut him, trade him, or keep him. In this case, there is $14.4M in dead money that hits the cap if they get rid of him next year. If they trade him, another team would pay his $8M base salary, his $8M roster bonus, plus the other bonuses he has in his deal, so they would end up close to $20M that they would owe, but they would not have any obligation for the signing bonus of the contract, which is all paid by Arizona.
    Teams like Cleveland could handle that. If they did something with him this year, there is $22M of dead money that hits the cap, only offset by $1M in base salary that they would save.

  21. $9 million in cap savings if he’s cut next year and it only goes up from there. I mean a 3 year extension with zero new money (spreading his current bonuses and salary over the extended 3 years) could be an answer, but would he be willing to take that? It would make him a 37-38 year old player but only a $4-5 million cap hit. But, it looks much more likely he’ll be cut after the SB.

  22. Of course they are. They were preparing for that last year. And as I said before, overpaying Peterson to help him get back at Sherman all but guaranteed that Fitzgerald AND Dockett won’t be there for long.

  23. What people don’t understand about Larry is he has never been about the money. He has made comments that he has not spent one penny of his upfront signing bonuses since he started in the NFL. He simply lives off his salary and saves the rest. He doesn’t want to leave and the team wants him to retire as a Cardinal. They will work something out.

  24. If they have to part because of money I hope it goes smoothly. Never been Fitzgerald fan but damn he’s a helluva player and a class act in the community.

  25. fitzgerald is a HoFer & a great guy but Floyd is the future & has the talent to be an All-Pro. Kid was unstoppable in college

  26. They’ll do exactly what they did this year…redo the contract as signing bonus money and his cap will be around 10mill. You are a fool if you think the cards are gonna let him walk.

  27. San Francisco are the elite team in the NFL and Fitz will coming to the 49ers, to play with the greatest QB in all of the NFL.

  28. Everyone says MINNESOTA.. Get real, like Teddy B is any better than Carson Palmer.. My money would be him signing somewhere with a stud QB.

  29. As a 49ers fan, I think the Cards are better than their 10-6 record last year. They had 4 games against Seattle and SF. They are a really good team.

  30. Rather he stays with the cardinals or goes to another team Fritz is a very good receiver and classy guy. Don’t see Arizona paying him 23 million after just making Peterson the highest paid DB in the league.

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