On Wednesday I met up with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald to participate in the EAS Unstoppable Tour Challenge. The tour gave us a glimpse into the life of former U.S. Navy officer Sam Tickle, who completed 30 sports in 30 days, and while that was the topic of the day, it wasn't the only thing we discussed.
With an NFL lockout seemingly on its way, Larry might not be able to earn his pay check this season if the owners and players can't come to an agreement on a revenue split. Players want an equal cut, while owners want to give them a 43.3 percent share. With Friday's deadline approaching, players have to be feeling the strain a lockout could put on their wallets-however Larry isn't one of them.
"I'm not really too concerned about the lockout, I know the powers that be are going to work hard to get this deal done," Larry said. When I asked him if there is an eBay auction he wanted to plug just in case there was a lockout Larry laughed and said, "No, I've been saving for quite a while."
If Fitzgerald is right, and the NFL and its players can reach some sort of an agreement, the NFL draft must first take place before any games are played. Recently New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck came out and stated he would not take Auburn Quarterback Cam Newton with the first pick in the draft this year. His reasoning stemmed from his belief that athletic QB's don't last long in the league, and while that may be true for some, the Pro Bowl receiver pointed out it's not for all.
"Steve Young was considered a running quarterback when he came out of BYU and his resume speaks for itself. If he (Cam) gets into the right system and he can showcase his ability I think he can be successful."
Fitzgerald was not shy about committing to Cam's ability to succeed, but didn't want to get into whether or not he would take Cam in the draft, but rather leaving that up to the people who actually make the decisions.
All in all this season will definitely be an interesting one for Cardinals fans and players due to the questions that surround the quarterback position. Both Derek Anderson and John Skelton struggled last year, and Fitzgerald's numbers dropped off in touchdowns and receptions. With Fitzgerald having the opportunity to jump ship and ring chase, as so many athletes of this era are doing, I asked him why he would even consider staying with his team.
"I've enjoyed playing in Arizona, for other guys they might not be loyal to their teams, but every case is different."
If Fitzgerald did run for the exit sign could you blame him? The Cardinals finished last in the NFC West with a record of 5-11. The team has question marks surrounding the QB spot, and over the years they have lost key players such as receiver Anquan Boldin, safety Antrel Rolle, and linebacker Karlos Dansby.
With all the departures, I asked Larry who he would take if he had the choice between Plaxico Burress, Tiki Barber, and Charlie Sheen. After some careful thought he went with the only guy who has been labeled a winner-Charlie Sheen.
Where this Cardinal will fly next is unknown, whether he stays or leaves Arizona will be one of the most talked about stories of the 2011 season, if there is in fact a season at all. While no one knows for sure what will happen with Fitz and the NFL, one thing is certain, it's going to be one crazy year in the NFL.
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