Fitzgerald’s Price of Leadership


Author: Sean Paperman, Raising Zona Contributor
The reality of a missed NFL season is looming and as every side is trying to grab a larger piece of the revenue pie this off season, the fans are arguing how it’s all about the money. No fan wants to see this season canceled, but Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald put money aside, and put on a show of leadership. This past week, Fitz has been leading his teammates through voluntary workouts. Anyone can debate how great a leader Fitz is or how the Bidwells should take note of his work ethic in structuring his much deserved contract. However, one thing you can’t argue with is the bottom line: Fitz is choosing to better himself and his teammates on his dime.

There’s a lot of money up for grabs between the owners and the players union, but let’s quantify Fitz’s gesture so people can truly understand what a leader will do for his team.  Arizona State University has allowed these ad hoc workouts to occur for free, so while Fitz may not be footing the bill here, ASU is:
$1,500 to rent out the gym and a practice field for two hours.
Bill Welle, Fitz’s personal trainer from Minnesota, has been flown in to lead these workouts. Bill has years of experience of training Pre-Combine and professional athletes:

  • $500 flight
  • $1,000 for a five night stay in a nice hotel,
  • $2,500 for five days of training.

Bill Sullivan, a retired NFL receivers coach, is being brought in from Dallas. He has worked for the Cards and the 49ers:

  • $400 flight
  • $1,000 for a five night stay in a nice hotel,
  • $3,000 for 3 days of training

Larry Fitzgerald, in what he technically makes on a daily basis. The extrinsic cost:
$96,000 for 5 days of training
Total: $105,900
The math may not be down to the penny, but this is a prime example of the monetary price of leadership. Fitz has set aside politics in order to better his team and his action is not cheap. Fact: Larry Fitzgerald is not a greedy player trying to grab a larger slice of the revenue pie this off season. Anyone want to argue with me? Drop over a $100,000 and go right ahead. No? I didn’t think so.