Will Larry Fitzgerald land in Tampa Bay?

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals
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There continues to be no direct evidence of receiver Larry Fitzgerald‘s plans for 2021. The circumstantial evidence points to a possible jump to Tampa Bay, and a chance to cap his career with a Super Bowl win.

First, the door seems to be closed on Fitzgerald in Arizona. The signing of receiver A.J. Green, which essentially gives him Fitzgerald’s spot behind DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, seemed to seal it. Even if the Cardinals would opt to have four receivers who don’t participate in special teams, the Cardinals seem to have too much money tied up in the position, between Hopkins’ top-of-market contract and the one-year deal given to Green.

Second, multiple tentacles connect Fitzgerald to the Buccaneers. Bruce Arians coached Fitzgerald and the Cardinals for five years. Byron Leftwich was an offensive assistant in Arizona. Receivers coach Kevin Garver had that same role with the Cardinals; his online profile with the Bucs specifically touts his work with Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald also brings gravitas to the Buccaneers, with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year patch on his jersey and significant respect from everyone who covers and/or watches the game. He has a relationship with Tom Brady, and Fitzgerald has repeatedly praised Brady’s football accomplishments.

Fitzgerald also once joked that he once bought a pair of Uggs in order to be like Brady. “He got another ring,” Fitzgerald said after Brady won his sixth Super Bowl. “That’s all that matters. That’s all that matters.”

Fitzgerald has zero rings. His best chance to get one could be to join forces for a season with the Buccaneers this season.

There’s no rush for it to happen. In fact, if something like that occurs, it will make sense for the Bucs to pull out a calendar and find the perfect spot for making what would be a major splash — especially if it happens at a time when little or no other NFL news is happening.

At a time when the Bucs have managed to keep the band together (for the most part), the push to send Fitzgerald into retirement with a ring could provide further insulation against the complacency that can derail a quest to repeat. Although having Brady around naturally reduces that risk, having Fitzgerald in the locker room could inject even more meaning into the Buccaneers’ quest to become the first team to repeat since 2004, which also happened to be Fitzgerald’s rookie season.

It would be fitting for Fitzgerald to end his career as part of the next team to repeat since his first season. That team, of course, also was quarterbacked by Tom Brady.

18 responses to “Will Larry Fitzgerald land in Tampa Bay?

  1. Seems crazy that the Cards aren’t bringing back Fitzgerald’s experience, reliability, and work ethic. AJ Green, as good as he is, has been a bandaid in recent seasons.

  2. Magnificent Wide Receiver hast to be in any discussion of GOAT. A great emissary for the NFL. However, he needs to consider retirement. He only averaged 7.6 YPC which is far from ideal.

  3. If he wants a real chance at a Superbowl yes, stay with Arizona and the odds of even getting to the playoffs aren’t that good.

  4. Based on his age and lower productivity, I don’t know if this would be a good signing. However, if not Fitzgerald, I would love to have Julian Edelman in Tampa.

  5. I’ve heard AB has been offered a 1 year, prove it deal by the Bucs. If that’s the case, I would prefer he signs with Seattle, and Fitz with the Bucs.

  6. I don’t buy it.

    Fitz still had “speed” and skills and then BA arrived and turned him into a slot receiver where he did a hell of a lot more blocking than he did receiving.

    I’ll always believe BA put wear and tear on the guy by ostensibly turning him into another tight end/blocker, as if he was Gronk. All his career he had been able to glide past defenders. Arians turned him from a receiver into a battering ram. It’s age + Arians that has gotten us to where we are today.

  7. If he does, the AZ political career could be jeopardized…. With Hop and Green drawing coverage away, he might become more productive!

  8. Larry Fitzgerald is a class act. I’d love to see him sign with Tampa and get a ring.
    Go Bucs.

  9. It would be a shame to see him not end his career in AZ and leave to chase a ring in TB. Odds aren’t necessarily in favor of a TB repeat — no way they have the same injury luck in 2021. I hate it when vets take the easy route and jump to the team flavor of the month to chase a ring.

  10. Great guy but come on he’s been washed up for 2 – 3 years now since when has the NFL
    become a charity league .

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