As soon as Larry Fitzgerald‘s 2014 season ended with an unceremonious whimper yesterday, talk regarding his cloudy future with the Cardinals began anew. Our Luke Adams wrote that Arizona is unlikely to cut Fitzgerald, but they could trade him or ask to him to restructure his contract. Although Carson Palmer recently signed a three-year extension with the club, Fitzgerald, who of course would like to add a Super Bowl ring to his Hall-of-Fame resume, will have to consider if his odds of winning it all might not be greater somewhere else before he accepts such a restructure or pay cut (which was deemed unlikely last week).
We noted earlier this morning that the Patriots will once again emerge as a logical landing spot for Fitzgerald. Tom Brady would offer him the caliber of quarterback that he has rarely enjoyed in his career, and New England is seemingly always on the lookout for upgrades at the wide receiver position.
Any decision on Fitzgerald, of course, will likely have to be made before March, when he is owed an $8MM roster bonus. For his part, Fitzgerald says he has not thought about his 2015 destination just yet. “The taste of defeat is the only thing I can think about right now,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s all that’s on my mind. It’s been a great season competing with these fellas and this coaching staff.”
Now for some links from around the league as Day 2 of Wildcard Weekend gets underway.
- Steelers safety Troy Polamalu says it is fair to wonder if he has played his last game, tweets Scott Brown of ESPN.com. Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review adds (via Twitter) that there is virtually no chance Polamalu returns next season.
- Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ponders the futures of several other Steelers veterans, including Ike Taylor and James Harrison.
- Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network tweets that the Lions hope Ndamukong Suh will test his value on the free agent market and ultimately return to Detroit.
- Suh may have a number of suitors, and although Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com notes that Washington will have some salary cap room to work with in free agency, Suh should not be one of the team’s targets.
- Andrew Kulp of CSNPhilly.com writes that the recent front office “shake-up” in the Eagles organization, which ostensibly gave head coach Chip Kelly full control over the team’s roster, does not really present much of a change. After all, as Kulp says, “[W]hat moves have the Eagles made in the two years since Kelly’s arrival that didn’t have his fingerprints all over them?”
- Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that the 49ers‘ lack of a consistent approach to their head coaching search makes their hiring process just as difficult to understand as the decision to cut ties with Jim Harbaugh.
- Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star lays out the difficult decisions the Chiefs have to make this offseason, including what to do with Dwayne Bowe and Tamba Hali, the release of whom could give the team some much-needed cap space.
- Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said that suspended linebacker Daryl Washington has “protocols” to pass before he can be reinstated, and Arians, team president Michael Bidwill, and GM Steve Keim will “sit down and talk about” Washington’s future (Twitter links from Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com).
- Arians also stated that he believes Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas has a great future, which is one of the reasons Arians chose not to play him down the stretch and into the playoffs; he did not want to put Thomas through “growing pains” (Twitter link to Urban).
- In yet another tweet, Urban reports that Cardinals wideout Jaron Brown fractured his scapula in yesterday’s loss to Carolina and is expected to be out four to six months.