Top storylines to watch for the Arizona Cardinals this offseason
Dec 28, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) runs a route during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi
1. Will Larry Fitzgerald still be with the Cardinals next season?
Every year since Larry Fitzgerald signed a massive 8 year, $120 million extension with Arizona, fans and analysts have wondered about the possibility of the Cardinals trading Fitzgerald at the deadline or during the offseason. Every year the rumors churn, and every year nothing happens.
The reality is that, in truth, every time it is mentioned as a possibility, it is more and more likely to actually happen. Larry Fitzgerald’s massive contract comes with a massive cap hit, one that has escalated through the life of the deal. In 2015, he will count for $23.6 million, which sucks up a great deal of room the Cardinals could use. The Cardinals have ducked this issue for years. In 2014, he would’ve counted $18 million against the cap, but restructured his deal to knock that number to $10 million.
This issue came to a head on December 31, when FOX Sports Arizona reported that Fitzgerald does not expect to return to Arizona in 2015. The issue goes further than just the cap hit. FOX reported that Fitzgerald is not happy playing so much in the slot and not being a focal point on offense.
The moving of Larry Fitzgerald, a face of the franchise, would be a very tough pill to swallow for Cardinals fans. That said, it is worth noting that Fitzgerald’s value to the team has gone down while his pay (and age, for that matter) have gone up. That’s not to say he isn’t important to the team or still an elite player, but just that the Cardinals may be better off by cutting their ties with #11.
Whether or not that happens is something Cardinals fans, and the rest of the NFL, are likely to follow with extreme interest after Super Bowl XLIX is completed.