One More Year: Larry Fitzgerald Confirms He Will Play in 2020
Dec 22, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) during warmups prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
A day after Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Keuchly retired, another veteran has announced the opposite. Larry Fitzgerald confirms he will return for a 17th season.
The Cardinals wide receiver and 11-time Pro Bowler is returning for his age-37 season as he is just years away from being enshrined in Canton, Oh. The Cardinals announced Wednesday that both parties have agreed to a one-year contract 2020. Fitzgerald was scheduled to become a free agent in March.
Fitzgerald had 74 catches for 804 yards and four touchdowns, leading the team in 2019.
After 16 NFL seasons, he has 1,378 catches and 17,083 yards, good for second all-time behind only Jerry Rice. His 120 receiving touchdowns are sixth on the all-time list. Fitzgerald, who also played in career game No. 250 in the season finale against Los Angeles, has an active 243-game receptions streak, also the second-longest ever, behind only Rice.
“The atmosphere, the positivity, I think it’s a lot of different reasons, but it’s been a great year,” Fitzgerald said after the last game in Los Angeles. “For a five-win season, I can’t remember having as much joy in the process.”
Given how Fitzgerald talked about the team and his showing late in the year, his return is not a total surprise. The Cardinals have talent at the wide receiver position, as in addition to Fitzgerald they employ Christian Kirk, who had another solid season, and Damiere Byrd and Pharoh Cooper, who both provided help.
With a higher draft pick in their pocket, the Cardinals could use it at this position.
If they do draft a wide receiver, he’ll have a chance to be mentored by Fitzgerald. There is nobody better for younger players to learn from than a 16-year veteran and future Hall of Famer. Even if you’re not a Cardinals fan, you have to respect Fitzgerald’s career and his loyalty to his team that has had more than their share of bad seasons.