Larry Fitzgerald isn’t going anywhere. In a radio interview, Cardinals coach Steve Wilks told 98.7 FM in Arizona that the wide receiver will return for the 2018 season.
“It’s a very exciting time for all of us. To all the Arizona Cardinals fans around the world, it’s very exciting because Larry mentioned to me last night that he is coming back for the 2018 season,” Wilks said. “I’m extremely excited…You’re talking about a future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer. I couldn’t be more excited to have Larry coming back next year. He is totally committed — those are his words — so we’re ecstatic to have him be part of the Arizona Cardinals.”
The 11-time Pro Bowler is now set to take the field for his 15th NFL season. Even at his advanced age, Fitzgerald is still among the best at his position. After moving to the slot in 2015, the veteran has topped 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each season and has cemented his status as one of the game’s all-time greats. This past season, despite being the league’s oldest wideout, Fitzgerald caught a career-high 109 passes and tallied 1,156 receiving yards with six touchdowns.
Thanks to the one-year extension signed in November, the Cardinals have Fitzgerald under contract for $11MM in 2018. The deal includes a no-trade clause and incentives that can give him an extra $1MM if he reaches No. 2 on the league’s all-time receiving list. Fitzgerald can hit that marker with 92 catches to top tight end Tony Gonzalez’s 1,325 career catches. That’s very doable since Fitzgerald has averaged 108 grabs over the past three years. He also only needs 390 receiving yards to pass Terrell Owens’ 15,934 for No. 2 all-time.
This week, the Cardinals promoted assistant receivers coach Kevin Garver to WR coach, a move that reportedly pleased Fitzgerald and may have nudged him towards playing. Quarterback Carson Palmer and coach Bruce Arians are gone, but Garver will be among the familiar faces for Fitz in 2018.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.