Larry Fitzgerald: I can still play at a high level

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Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald posted 63 catches for 784 yards last season, which were his lowest numbers since his rookie season and the cause of some discussion about how much he might have left in the tank after 11 seasons in Arizona.

It looked for a few moments like his time in Arizona might be done as a big cap number called his future with the team into question. The two sides hammered out agreement on a two-year deal, however, that will pay Fitzgerald $22 million and give him a chance to prove that there’s still a lot in the tank after being slowed by injuries last year.

“I can still play the game at a high level, given the opportunity to go out there and thrive,” Fitzgerald said, via the Arizona Republic. “It was fluke stuff, too. You work so hard to get yourself physically ready to go and you see it happen just that fast. You see Andre Ellington making a cut, or Carson Palmer being hit on his knee. You take for granted your health, sometimes.”

Fitzgerald had his strongest outings of the season just before Palmer was lost to a torn ACL last year, so a healthy Palmer return could be just as important as Fitzgerald’s own return to health. With Michael Floyd and John Brown also on hand, though, playing at a high level probably won’t lead to the eye-popping numbers of Fitzgerald’s younger days.

35 responses to “Larry Fitzgerald: I can still play at a high level

  1. I think you can safely place the blame for his down year on the shoulders of Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley – and on Bruce Arians for signing Lindley in the first place.

  2. Larry seems like a nice guy and has has put up some big numbers but that team was better with Quanny leading the way. Keeping them both might not had been possible but the deal they gave Fitz was too big and forced them to let Anquan go, which was a big mistake. Larry’s content with loosing and his big checks.

  3. This guy is still a beast. If he had Peyton or Tom Brady throwing his way he would still be top 10 in fantasy, and real life.
    Don’t forget Drew Brees, he actually beats out Tom Brady in most of all time QB stats (w/exception of Super Bowl wins)

  4. Oh please Lindley wasn’t Arians’ fault. You’re down to your fourth QB of the season, who are you gonna sign, Johnny Unitas?

    And to the wiseguy who made a comment about Warner not walking back through that door, look up Fitz’s 201 stats with Kolb and John Skelton at QB. The guy was also extremely productive in 2005 with a mix of bad Kurt and Josh McCown.

  5. who are you gonna sign, Johnny Unitas?

    Johnny U as your QB would definitely require some “out of the box” thinking.

  6. He hasn’t reached 1,000 yards in the past three seasons. Cry about injuries and QB play all you want. That hasn’t stopped less heralded receivers like Vincent Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Josh Gordon, and many others. Face it, Fitzgerald 2015 is a below average WR living off his production from 4+ years ago. The numbers do not lie.

  7. “I can still play the game at a high level”

    “High” being the operative word.

    Fitzgerald seems like a class act and he’s always had an air of dignity about him, but he’s starting to sound less dignified and more like all the other chest-pounding, fear-driven, ego-centric players who are trying to convince themselves they can stay in the game just a little longer. Jon Beason et al, are you listening?

    Say it ain’t so Joe – say it ain’t so!

  8. Slow as molasses in a Green Bay winter. He hasn’t made a play since Richard Sherman came into the league and shattered his confidence. Cardinals paid $11 million a year for a $4 million a year possession receiver who can no longer get open against the best DBs in his division.

    But Steve Keim is executive of the year. Yeah right.

  9. Fitz should cut his hair, dropping that much weight could knock two tenths off his 40 time.

  10. 11 million a year is too much for a guy signing a deal to prove that he can still do it at his age. Isn’t that what you pay the top 5 guys?

    I guess when the top CENTER just signed for 10 million a year I no longer have a grip on NFL salary reality.

    I respect and admire him and his career btw. I just thought a “giving him a chance” deal would be less than 10 million a year.

  11. Remember the Oldsmobile commercial that ran “Its not your father’s Oldsmobile”? An over-the-hill star who publicly proclaims that he can still play at a high level makes me think of that. Obviously, Fitzgerald has some doubts whether he actually can play at a high level. Why else would he be saying this?

  12. Unfortunatley for the Cards they need him to be good until the 2018 season.

    If you look at his contract here is his dead money for the next couple years:

    2015: $36,400,000
    2016: $25,550,000
    2017: $9,700,000
    2018: $4,850,000

    There are no cap savings for cutting him in any of these years… none!

    For a team with bottom 12 cap space in 2016, and an aging QB on a similar deal… they had better hope he can still play

  13. Fitz still has more than Floyd and Brown together…he has hands, can block and is a leader.
    Nonetheless, he can’t make catches when he’s not targeted and his skills haven’t been fully utilized since Arians decided to use him as a decoy and blocker (put both Sherman and Reevis on their backsides). It’s kinda sad when a franchise has to use it’s best offensive resource defensively because it doesn’t know how to develop talent or draft well. On any other team Fitz would be putting up record numbers and this wouldn’t even be filler content for the sports tabloids. The Cards sandbagged his stats so they would have ammunition to welch on his contract.
    He should have probably gone to another team where he could play up to his ability rather than waste his time on a franchise who doesn’t know who to utilize his skill optimally.
    If every team had a Larry Fitzgerald the NFL would be a better place!

  14. jakeplummersghost says:

    Oh please Lindley wasn’t Arians’ fault. You’re down to your fourth QB of the season, who are you gonna sign, Johnny Unitas?
    Passing on Derek Carr for some safety who can’t cover was absolutely Arians and Keim’s fault. They’ll continue to regret that move for the next decade.

  15. Nothing has been inconsistent about Larry’s ability except the Cardinals QB position. I don’t doubt his ability one bit.

    Since Kurt Warner, here are the names of AZ starting QB’s:

    Derek Anderson
    John Skelton
    Max Hall
    Kevin Kolb
    Ryan Lindley
    Brian Hoyer

    We’ll see if Carson Palmer can finish a full season and get a playoff win.

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