Larry Fitzgerald Must Demand Trade, Consider Joining These 5 NFL Teams
A six-time Pro Bowler, including in each of the last five seasons, Fitzgerald has just 57 catches for 682 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. While those numbers are not disastrously low, production from Fitzgerald has hit rock bottom over the last month.
Since Nov. 18, Fitzgerald has just six catches for 67 yards on 37 targets. That's not a typo. Fitzgerald has caught just six of the 37 passes (16.2 percent) thrown his way over the last four games.
The numbers aren't indicative of Fitzgerald's performance. Instead, the NFL's worst quarterbacking situation in some time has all but sapped the production out of the once-dominant receiver. The combination of John Skelton and Ryan Lindley is laughable by any stretch of the imagination.
Is it now time for Fitzgerald to do something about his situation? Would the Cardinals even entertain the idea of trading their best offensive player?
Fitzgerald signed an eight-year, $128.5 million deal with the Cardinals in August of 2011. He's under contract in Arizona until 2019, when he will be 36 years old.
With Fitzgerald lacking any leverage, the Cardinals would have to get massive returns to justify such a deal. While he would likely jump at the opportunity to get out of Arizona, the logistics of a deal press reality.
But if Fitzgerald did demand a trade (could you blame him?) and the Cardinals were willing to work with him on such a move, here's five teams that make the most sense as destinations.
It's almost too easy a connection to make. Fitzgerald, a Twin Cities native and former Vikings ball boy, would fill a huge need as an outside receiver in the Minnesota offense.
And while Christian Ponder hasn't looked much better than the situation in Arizona over the last two months, he has a much higher ceiling than any quarterback on the Cardinals' roster.
If a deal were completed, the Vikings would hold two of the game's very best at their position in addition to a versatile weapon in Percy Harvin (although he is a free agent in 2014).
The Colts re-signed veteran receiver Reggie Wayne for three more years this offseason, but the 34-year-old isn't going to be a long-term option. Despite a Pro Bowl-caliber season, Wayne probably only has another year of top production left.
Insert Fitzgerald, one of the game's top receivers, to both replace Wayne and give rookie quarterback Andrew Luck another elite option in the passing game.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have deeper issues than at receiver (mostly along the offensive line) and Danario Alexander looks like he might be a keeper, but Philip Rivers lost the only top receiver he's ever had this past offseason (Vincent Jackson) and the Chargers' passing game has suffered as a result.
Add Fitzgerald, upgrade a spot or two on the offensive line and Rivers might turn back into that elite quarterback most remember him as.
The Dolphins are putting the pieces in place on offense, including at quarterback. But Ryan Tannehill's arsenal lacks a true No. 1 receiver, a player that can win individual matchups and tilt coverage.
Fitzgerald is the definition of such a receiver. Miami wouldn't be done building this offense under Joe Philbin, but getting Fitzgerald would be a huge piece of the puzzle.
Kansas City Chiefs
At 2-11, the Chiefs are obviously one of the worst teams in football. But the bright side of a trade to Kansas City would be the chance to play with a top rookie quarterback—much like Reggie Wayne has done in Indianapolis with Andrew Luck.
Fitzgerald would need some patience, but the Chiefs have other pieces (Jamaal Charles, good offensive line) to help make a rookie quarterback into an impact player in the first year.
Arizona needs a lot more work on offense to be competitive.