Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is about to play in his 14th season as a professional, and he’s not ready to say whether it’s going to be his last.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday before the Cardinals start training camp, Fitzgerald was asked whether retirement is in the cards following the 2017 campaign. His response was pretty awesome.
“I feel good right now,” Fitzgerald said, per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN. “When that changes, I’ll let you know but it will never be in front of a podium, and there will be no tears and none of that stuff. That’s not how ever it’ll be. That’s not how I am. I’m just one player out of 1,600 in the National Football League and it’s a lot bigger than me. It’s never going to be like that.”
One of the best people in the NFL, Fitzgerald has always put the team first. He’s never been a “me” guy, and this response truly highlights how much he appreciates his opportunity to play the sport of football at the highest level.
Last season, despite Arizona’s disappointing campaign, Fitzgerald led the NFL in receptions (107) while tallying 1,023 yards and six touchdowns through the air. It was the second season in a row in which he hauled in at least 107 catches, showing he’s still capable of dominating even as he enters his mid-30s.
Still, after the 2016 season the Cardinals did not know if Fitzgerald would come back, along with Carson Palmer. He’s playing out a one-year contract worth $11 million this season. Both he and Palmer certainly could retire after the 2017 season and nobody would be surprised.
If that happens, even if Fitzgerald doesn’t shed a tear we’re betting some loyal Cardinals fans might.
Through 13 seasons, Fitzgerald has caught 1,125 passes for 14,389 yards and 104 touchdowns. Truly, he’s lived up to the investment the Cardinals made when they selected the former Pitt star No. 3 overall way back in 2004.