West Rumors: Fitz, Raiders, Broncos, Brown

After the Cardinals trudged through their worst season in 18 years, Larry Fitzgerald‘s latest retire-or-not decision now features another new coach and offensive system in the equation — this one with no NFL coaching experience. But the future Hall of Fame receiver has not distanced himself from the process that brought Kliff Kingsbury to Arizona. Fitz has exchanged text messages with his new coach, the 35-year-old wideout told TMZ recently (via the Arizona Republic).

Hell of a coach. … Look at his resume,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s innovative offensively. That’s the wave of the future right now, so I’m excited for the chance to meet him.”

Fitzgerald played out his contract and is a free agent. While it would seemingly be tempting for the 15-year veteran to see if he could land with a team better positioned to compete for a championship, the career-long Cardinal has said multiple times he will only play for the Cards. Fitz continues to deliberate about the possibility of retiring or coming back for a 16th season.

Here is more from the West-division teams that have been working on their offseason strategies.

  • Former Broncos offensive lineman Chris Kuper will return to Denver as the team’s assistant offensive line coach. Kuper spent the previous three seasons coaching under Adam Gase in Miami. He retired following the 2013 season with the Broncos, who deployed him as a starter for most of his career. Kuper will work under Mike Munchak.
  • The 49ers are the Las Vegas frontrunners to land Antonio Brown, and The Athletic (subscription required) agrees with that assessment. San Francisco should be viewed as the clubhouse leaders to acquire the disgruntled Steelers wideout, per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows. Kyle Shanahan balked at paying high prices for this past year’s UFA crop, and Barrows writes the 49ers will not be giving up their No. 2 overall pick for a soon-to-be 31-year-old wideout. However, he cautions a team picking in the late first round may be able to outflank a San Francisco trade offer, regardless of the 49ers’ need at this position.
  • Brentson Buckner‘s position with the Raiders will be defensive line coach, Jon Gruden said Tuesday (via ESPN.com’s Paul Gutierrez). Buckner, who coached the Buccaneers’ defensive linemen last season, will replace Mike Trgovac. The latter, however, will be promoted in some capacity, per Gruden. As for the Raiders’ quarterbacks coach position — vacated by Brian Callahan‘s move to become the Bengals’ OC Tuesday — the team might wait until the Combine to fill that position.
  • Gruden believes Daryl Worley underwent shoulder surgery recently after ending his season with a torn labrum, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. Worley, a starter this season prior to landing on IR, is expected to receive an RFA tender from the Raiders.
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14 comments on “West Rumors: Fitz, Raiders, Broncos, Brown

  1. 377194

    In other news, Bronco fans expect them to finish 4-12 next season unless they hit the jackpot in the draft, free agency, and trades.

      • atuck_sfg

        Those two running up and down the field together would be awesome. Would show teams you don’t have to be young and fast to be great. But it’ll never happen

        • jkoms57

          Why not?
          I’d say Cards, Pats, Steelers are the favorites.. prob in that order too.
          Wouldn’t blame him if he goes to Pats, but gosh do we love that guy in Pittsburgh.

    • jkoms57

      Steelers, perfect role model replacement for AB.
      People of Pittsburgh already love him from his days at Pitt.

  2. crosseyedlemon

    What can you say about Larry Fitzgerald except that he is a class act totally deserving of his fame. I think the Vikings would be the only team that would even have a remote chance of claiming him as a free agent. Most likely he will stay with the Cardinals and give his usual 100% effort to Kingsbury and the new staff.

    • afsooner02

      The queens? Why would he go from one garbage QB to another? If he switches teams, it would be to have a chance at winning a ring, not finishing around .500

      • crosseyedlemon

        Larry has his roots in Minnesota and he was actually a ball boy for the Vikings back in his youth.

        • afsooner02

          I’d say the Steelers are a better bet since he played college ball there and they’re actually competing for a ring with a good QB….plus they might have a WR opening soon.

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