The 11-time Pro-Bowler Fitzgerald was on his weekly radio with broadcaster Jim Gray called “Let’s Go”. He told Jim what things stand between him and the game of football.
“Jim, to be honest with you, I just don’t have the urge to play right now,” said Fitzgerald. I don’t know how I’ll feel in September, October, November moving forward but I just, today, I just don’t have the urge.”
37-year-old Fitz thinks he doesn’t have the same passion like he normally does for football.
“I think I have to be respectful of that. Football is not one of those games you want to walk out there and play and not be fully engaged and ready to prepare and do the things necessary that you need to do.”
Tom Brady, who will also host with Fitzgerald during the 2021 season, gave his thoughts on the great.
“Nobody has had a career like Larry Fitzgerald,” said Brady. “Larry is one of the best to ever play the game.”
Fitzgerald’s Legend Status
He’s second on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards and receptions lists behind Hall of Famer Jerry Rice. But it didn’t happen overnight.
Larry Fitzgerald was selected by the Cardinals in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2004 NFL draft. In his second season, teammate Anquan Boldin and Fitzgerald became only the second duo from the same team to each catch over 100 passes and hit above 1,400-yards.
“Fitz” was named First-team All-Pro in 2008 and along with Hall-of-Famer Kurt Warner, went to Super Bowl 43 where they lost a heartbreaker to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite losing, it was a sensational and remarkable postseason run for the future Hall-of-Famer. Every playoff game, you could always trust Larry to get it done.
There were times when Fitzgerald didn’t have quality quarterbacks on the roster, but he managed to make every one of them better. Do you remember Ryan Lindley? Fitzgerald also happens to have more tackles than drops in his NFL career.
Cardinals To Be In Open Arms
General manager Steve Keim told the Arizona Republic how they will respect whatever Fitzgerald decides.
“Every year it hasn’t been any different,” Keim said. “Larry represents himself and he and I will sit down and talk, and I’ve always told him, ‘Let me know what you want to do.’ That’s the kind of respect that he certainly deserves. Like (coach) Kliff (Kingsbury) said, the ball’s in his court. It’s truly up to him.”
While Arizona is willing to meet whatever Fitzgerald desires, it seems like Arizona has technically moved on with their roster decisions. Arizona signed A.J. Green this offseason to join DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Then, they added to their WR room and drafted Rondale Moore in the second round of the 2021 draft.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk seemed to get the idea Fitzgerald likely won’t return to Arizona. This was prior to drafting Moore:
“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,” said Florio. “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.”
Keim does understand Fitzgerald and what his future beholds. There’s no pressure for anything.
“He knows if he wants to be a Cardinal he can be a Cardinal. But at the same time, you don’t go tell Larry Fitzgerald or give him ultimatums. We’ve got too much respect for him to do that. If he wants to play, I know he’ll let us know he wants to play.”
You never know what could happen during the season. If the Cardinals need depth or veteran presence for a postseason run and Fitzgerald has the same passion as previous years, they could get back together. That seems to be the only scenario for a reunion between the two parties.