Larry Fitzgerald‘s contract will take up an enormous amount of cap space in 2015, eating up $23.6MM of valuable cap dollars that could go to making improvements elsewhere on the roster. Because of that number, Fitzgerald has long been thought of as a candidate to be cut this offseason. Ideally, the team would be able to trade the former All-Pro receiver, although it would be difficult to find a team willing to accept Fitzgerald’s cap number.
Although his contract looms large, the team will not cut the face of their franchise, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The team may explore trading him, restructuring his deal, or signing him to an extension. Florio’s sources made it clear that the Cardinals would not cut him.
General manager Steve Keim noted that there have been ongoing talks with Fitzgerald’s agent about his future with the team, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “We have to make good business decisions,” said Keim. “I don’t think it’s any secret that we said all along that it is our intent to have Larry Fitzgerald retire a Cardinal. I don’t want to get into it too deep, but with planning purposes and financially, from a cap standpoint and all those sort of things, we have Larry’s (cap) number already baked into our numbers.”
“Now, any kind of business decisions moving forward, renegotiations with Larry and that sort of thing, we’ve had ongoing talks with (agent) Eugene Parker and we will continue to have ongoing talks,” added Keim. “But again, the best I can tell you is that it is our intent to keep Larry and make sure he stays a Cardinal the rest of his career.”
Urban also writes that if the Cardinals are serious about not releasing the veteran wideout, Fitzgerald will have no reason to accept a paycut to stay with the team.