Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten recently joined the 1,000-catch club, but the milestone achievement is a long way off from the all-time NFL mark.
In fact, according to Peter King of The MMQB, Fitzgerald believes Jerry Rice’s 1,549 receptions is a record that will be safe.
“I don’t think the record’s attainable. … Jerry played with two of the best [quarterbacks] ever for most of his career, Joe Montana and Steve Young.”
Now, it appears the 32-year-old wideout is talking about himself specifically. Fitzgerald is 545 catches shy of surpassing Rice, which wouldn’t be a likely development.
Nevertheless, Fitzgerald will continue to climb the career leaderboard — especially as long as Carson Palmer is at quarterback. The duo has connected 96 times this season through 13 games, so the veteran Fitzgerald is on pace to set a career-best single-season mark.
He currently ranks 11th in league history with 1,005 receptions and could reach No. 3 by the end of next season. Marvin Harrison retired from the NFL with 1,102 grabs.
But 545 more catches? That would be nothing short of remarkable for Fitzgerald, who must battle Father Time and remain this effective for the next six years to even have a realistic chance at challenging Rice.
Even if that doesn’t happen — and probably won’t — Fitzgerald is 321 receptions away from topping Tony Gonzalez for No. 2, a more attainable standing to cap an already tremendous career.