Larry Fitzgerald Talks Retirement, Says He Will Only Play for Cardinals

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Dec.10, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald declared Monday he will never play for any NFL team other than the Cards.

In an interview with Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press, Fitzgerald made it clear there will be only one team on his final NFL resume: "If I'm not playing in Arizona, I won't be playing anywhere. I've built a good life for myself down there. Playing in the same place for 15 years is a true blessing."

The 34-year-old is set to enter his 15th NFL season, all of which have been spent with the Cardinals.

Retirement whispers have surrounded Fitzgerald in recent years, but he continues to produce at a high level.

In each of the past three seasons, he has topped both 100 catches and 1,000 yards, and he has been named to the Pro Bowl during all of those campaigns.

With regard to potential retirement, Fitzgerald suggested he will keep playing until his skills drop off:

"It doesn't really matter about the age. It's about what you put into it and your mindset. Everybody kind of takes numbers and assumes this is when it's supposed to end. As an athlete, fortunately, you write your own script. If you still produce and you play at a high level, you kind of determine how long you want to play. If I can stay at a high level, I still keep destiny in my own hands."

With 11 Pro Bowls to his credit, Fitzgerald is already among the best wideouts in NFL history. He is third on the all-time list in both receptions (1,234) and receiving yardage (15,545), and he is eighth in receiving touchdowns (110).

The 2018 season could be a transitional year for Fitzgerald and the Cardinals, since they have a new head coach and quarterback.

Steve Wilks has replaced Bruce Arians as coach, while Carson Palmer retired and left a vacant spot under center.

In an effort to make up for Palmer loss, the Cards signed a pair of veterans in Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, and they selected Josh Rosen with the No. 10 pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

Arizona is coming off a respectable 8-8 season, and while little is expected of the team in 2018, there is potential for the Cards to surprise.

Running back David Johnson will be back after missing all but one game last season because of a wrist injury, and if the new starting quarterback can build a rapport with Fitzgerald, the Cardinals will have a potent offense.