Cards Have Leverage in Fitz’s Future

Sunday evening in Glendale Larry Fitzgerald again proved age, at least right now, has nothing on him. 

Whether it be staking across the middle and dragging a Bengals’ cornerback for a 43-gain or spearing an errant missile from Carson Palmer for 19 more the press box was again a buzz with at least a handful of “classic Fitz” references.

Below the surface there are already whispers of what may happen to the face of the franchise if the media and fans are buzzing for all the wrong reasons by season’s end.

Fitzgerald, the ultimate team player, restructured his contract back in February to give the Cardinals more flexibility to sign and re-sign priority free agents. He is also due for a $8 million roster bonus in 2015.

Many wonder if the almost 31-year-old Fitzgerald will finish his career as a Cardinal.

“I think so much of it is going to be dependent on his willingness to take less,” NFL Network insider Albert Breer told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Monday morning. “The Cardinals have leverage here. They have the ability to say, ‘we have Michael Floyd, we have John Brown and we’ve rebuilt that position now.'”

Breer says these types of escalator deals have become more common in the NFL as teams near the end of the road with established stars who have helped their franchises reach new levels. 

“I think a lot of it will come down to how much Larry Fitzgerald wants to finish his career in Arizona,” Breer explained to Cesmat. “The question is now is [he] going to be willing to leave a little bit on the table so he can finish his career as a Cardinal. He’s the type of guy who could have a statue built outside of a stadium. 

Breer says Fitzgerald and his representation, who have secured two top-end deals, are the only ones who truly know if the Cards are the only team he will play for.

It’s a storyline to keep a close eye on.

As close as the eight-time Pro-Bowler has kept his eye on the ball on and off the field here in Arizona.