How Larry Fitzgerald might still play for the Cardinals in 2021

(Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Larry Fitzgerald
(Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports) Larry Fitzgerald /

Some comments from Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald were released on Friday that seem to indicate he’s leaning towards retiring from the NFL.

It’s an announcement that Arizona Cardinals fans have been waiting to hear all offseason from their favorite team’s longtime wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. Will he or won’t he retire from the NFL?

On Friday, some comments by Fitzgerald were released from a recent appearance he made on his new SiriusXM radio show “Let Go” with Jim Gray that many have been interpreting as sort of a de-facto retirement announcement from the longtime Cardinals receiver.

Here’s what Fitzgerald had to say when he was asked by Gray if he’s going to be a radio broadcaster or return to football this year?

"“For now, I’ll be a radio broadcaster. Jim, to be honest with you, I just don’t have the urge to play right now. I don’t know how I’ll feel in September, October, November moving forward, but I just, today, I just don’t have the urge. And I think I have to be respectful of that. Football is not one of those games you want to walk out there and play and not be fully engaged and ready to prepare and do the things necessary that you need to do.”"

Is Larry Fitzgerald officially done playing for the Arizona Cardinals?

Most would assume that these recent comments from Fitzgerald are the closest he’s ever going to get to saying he’s retiring from the NFL.

However, when he talked about not knowing how he would feel in a few months, he didn’t completely shut the door on a possible return to the field in 2021.

Since he’s been with the franchise for his entire career, it’s safe to assume that Fitzgerald probably wouldn’t play for any other team than the Cardinals if he were to come back during the upcoming season.

Before the 2021 offseason officially began in March with free agency, the All-Pro receiver likely had a good amount of interest to return to Arizona for the 2021 campaign. But then he saw the Cardinals sign free-agent A.J. Green and draft Rondale Moore earlier this year just like everyone else.

So Fitzgerald knows that if he were to return to Arizona this season, he would probably be the No. 4 or No. 5 receiver, something that he likely doesn’t have much interest in.

Knowing that he hasn’t completely shut the door on a return yet and the fact that the Cardinals have continued to say during the last few months that they would welcome him back, there is one scenario that still seems like it could result in Fitzgerald suiting up for Arizona this season.

If Green, Moore, or DeAndre Hopkins went down with an injury this year that forced them to miss a significant amount of time, Fitzgerald might be willing to help the Cardinals out and make up for the lost production. This scenario would become even more believable if Arizona was also in the middle of a successful season.

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Other than this scenario though, it’s hard to envision Fitzgerald playing in the NFL again under any other circumstances. So maybe we actually have already seen the Cardinals legend out on the field for the last time.