It was an A for effort, but an F for execution kind of move.
Over the last few years, he tried it again but this time with longtime NFL veteran Kyle Long. The 33-year-old did end up coming out of retirement but he joined the Kansas City Chiefs instead of the Jets.
Then this NFL postseason the Los Angeles Rams pulled a page out of that playbook by getting safety Eric Weddle off of the couch and now he is competing for a Super Bowl championship.
With that conversation back in the air, could the Jets try it again?
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An Interesting Proposition
On the most recent episode of I’m Just Saying with Brian Mazique, the question was raised, who is a recently retired NFL player that the Jets could convince to come back?
“When I read this question I’m thinking of a mentor, someone that can help a young Zach Wilson. He may be a tough get because he seems more content not playing but I’m talking about Larry Fitzgerald,” Mazique stated. “He is a future Pro Football Hall of Famer and by not officially retiring all he is doing is pushing back that enshrinement date. I’m looking at a large target, a great locker room guy, a guy that can aid Wilson in learning the ropes and can mentor the young receivers on this team. If you’re talking about broad sweeping impact, Fitzgerald could be that and I’m making that phone call. How would you like to double as an active player, wide receiver’s coach, assistant to the offensive coordinator, and special advisor to Robert Saleh? We are talking about an all-time great locker room guy and as well respected of a player as there is in the NFL over the last 20 years.”
The legendary longtime Arizona Cardinals wideout hasn’t suited up since the 2020 season. Although he hasn’t officially handed in his retirement papers to the NFL.
The 38-year-old receiver is currently an unrestricted free agent and is free to sign with any team of his choosing.
He was recently asked why he hasn’t made it official and Fitzgerald was emphatic that he is a “long way” from retirement.
A Compelling Case Could Be Made
If the Jets could convince any recent NFL player out of retirement it would be hard to find a better fit than Fitzgerald.
He would be 39 by the start of the 2022 season which normally would raise some level of concern, but Fitzgerald is just built differently.
He has this old man’s game where he can still be effective in today’s NFL because he never relied on one trait like speed or explosiveness that would’ve eroded with time. Everything that made Fitzgerald one of the greatest receivers of all time is still valid now with his ability to get open and his phenomenal hands:
During his 17 year NFL career he has shattered the record books:
- Nine 1,000 yard receiving seasons
- 121 total touchdowns
- 1,432 career receptions
- 17,492 career receiving yards
The impact that Fitzgerald could have on a developing Zach Wilson and the young receivers on this team would be priceless. It would also be a major benefit for the coaching staff to have someone with as many battle scars as Fitzgerald does on the roster and in the meeting rooms.
Douglas has successfully convinced a player out of retirement, why couldn’t he do it again this offseason?