Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals are just about to wrap up one of the most-disappointing seasons in franchise history. Arizona, who made it to the NFC Championship game last year, entered this season with Super Bowl aspirations.
It is now 5-8-1 on the season and eliminated from the playoff race.
Fitzgerald, 33, just recently spoke with Jim Gray of Westwood One about his plans for beyond the 2016 season. In doing so, he didn’t sound fully committed to returning to the Cardinals.
“No, I wouldn’t say that I’m contemplating (retirement) right now,” Fitzgerald said. “But I’m uncertain what I’m going to do moving forward. But I still love the game, I love the competition. I love being around the guys and competing for a championship. That’s a lot of fun to me, and that’s kind of where I’m at right now.”
If the future Hall of Famer isn’t considering retirement but remains uncertain about what he’s going to do in the future, we can read between the lines here. He’s under contract with the Cardinals through the 2018 season after signing a one-year extension this past summer. This seems to indicate he may be looking for a way out.
Not only has the Cardinals’ performance on the field lacked this season, there’s been some drama off the field. The team released receiver Michael Floyd earlier in the month after he was arrested for a DUI. At that point, Fitzgerald himself seemed to be upset over the decision. This could surely play a role in what Fitzgerald is thinking right now.
Conjecture and innuendo aside, it seems unfathomable that Fitzgerald would leave the only team he’s suited up for during a stellar 13-year NFL career. Though, we have seen similar situations lead to a long-time player doing the unthinkable and moving on from his original team. Peyton Manning comes to mind first.
In any event, Fitzgerald still seems to have a ton left in the tank. He’s recorded a league-high 98 receptions in 14 games this season and is still a capable No. 1 receiver in the NFL. If he were to force the Cardinals’ hand, a ton of teams would line up for his services, including his hometown Minnesota Vikings.