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Larry Fitzgerald Suggests He's Retired After 17 NFL Seasons: 'I Had a Great Run'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 16, 2022

Stacy Revere/Getty Images for The Match

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald hasn't officially retired from the NFL, but it seems apparent his playing days are over. 

Speaking to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, Fitzgerald said he "had a great run" when discussing his career. 

"It was fun. I wouldn't change anything," he added. "I wish I could have delivered more for the Valley in terms of winning a championship, but that's water under the bridge at this point."

Fitzgerald, who didn't play during the 2021 season, said he most likely won't have a formal retirement because he's too young to be retired. 

"I'm 38 years old," he explained. "I'm a long way from retirement. Yeah, a long way."

Fitzgerald only played for the Cardinals in his career. His long list of accomplishments includes 11 Pro Bowl selections, the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and a first-team All-Pro selection in 2008. He is second all-time in receptions (1,432) and receiving yards (17,492) and sixth all-time in receiving touchdowns (121).

He registered at least 1,000 receiving yards nine times, at least 100 receptions five times and at least 10 touchdowns in a season five times.

During Arizona's run to the Super Bowl after the 2008 season, Fitzgerald set an NFL playoff record with 546 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches in four games. He had 127 yards and two scores in the Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

And he was durable, playing all 16 games in a season 12 times in his career. It's no surprise he was named to the NFL Network's NFL 100 All-Time Team in 2019, joining fellow wideouts Lance Alworth, Raymond Berry, Marvin Harrison, Elroy Hirsch, Don Hutson, Steve Largent, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice and Paul Warfield on the list. 

It's fair to argue that Fitzgerald is the greatest player in the history of the Cardinals' organization. Minus winning a title, Fitzgerald has checked all of the boxes in a Hall of Fame career. And even in his final season he was productive, registering 54 catches for 409 yards and a touchdown. 

That called into question whether Fitzgerald would come back for yet another season in 2021. But his likely retirement doesn't come as a surprise after he expressed in August that he didn't have a desire to play the game. 

"I just don't have the urge to play right now," he said at the time on SiriusXM's Let's Go show (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com). "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."

It would appear the desire to play never returned. So the next stop for Fitzgerald will be Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

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