Larry Fitzgerald retirement: Cardinals GM says no deadline for receiver to make decision on NFL future

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For the past few offseasons, the Arizona Cardinals and the rest of the NFL-watching world have held their breath waiting for Larry Fitzgerald to make a decision on his playing future. To this point, the legendary wide receiver has opted to come back and suit up with the rest of the Cardinals pass-catching unit to help the club push for a deep playoff run. This offseason, however, does seem to have a different tone to it, possibly pointing to the official end to Fitzgerald’s illustrious career in the desert. 

That said, no decision has been made to this point and Fitzgerald — whose contract is set to expire at the start of the new league year on March 17 — has been pretty quiet about his future plans. As it relates to the Arizona front office and how it is mapping out the offseason, Fitzgerald’s decision doesn’t seem like it’ll sway the decision-making process much. 

GM Steve Keim told reporters on Wednesday that there is no deadline for Fitzgerald to make any retirement decision as we get closer to the start of free agency and the new league year. He also had no news to report on Fitzgerald’s decision and said that the receiver deserves to make that call on his own time. 

“Knowing him, he’s just trying to make me sweat,” Keim joked, via Darren Urban from the official team website.

While still respectable, Fitzgerald’s numbers in 2020 were the lowest of his career as the veteran took more of a backseat in a Cardinals receiver unit that is now headlined by DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. Even though he’s more of a role player during this twilight period of his career, Fitzgerald is still a strong veteran presence and depth piece to this grouping that should be valuable to Arizona as it gears up for 2021. 

What could potentially throw a wrench into things is the Cardinals being strapped for salary cap space during an offseason where the cap is expected to decrease from the previous year. Because of that, Fitzgerald would likely need to take a below-market deal, even at this stage in his career. 

No matter what Fitzgerald’s fate this offseason ultimately ends up being, there’s no denying that whenever he does hang ’em up, his next stop will be Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

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