The football careers of Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning have been linked for many years. In 2003 they were both Heisman Trophy finalists. In 2004 Manning was the first overall pick in the draft and Fitzgerald was the third pick. Their teams have faced each other several times, they’ve been teammates in the Pro Bowl, and in 2016 they were chosen as co-recipients of the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
But they won’t retire together. Fitzgerald has announced that he’ll be back for the 2020 season, while Manning has announced his retirement. After Manning’s announcement, Fitzgerald posted a message about his admiration for Manning.
“Congratulations to one of the fiercest competitors the league has ever seen. Man of the Year, Super Bowl champion, philanthropist, and ambassador for the game,” Fitzgerald wrote. “The game won’t be the same without you my friend.”
The Cardinals and Giants will play each other in 2020, and with Manning not there, it won’t feel quite the same to Fitzgerald.