There’s a lot of upheaval around the Arizona Cardinals this offseason, and there could be more to come.
Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is considering retirement, and coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer have already called it quits. Despite that, Fitzgerald said their decisions would not impact his own choice.
Larry Fitzgerald just said on @nflnetwork that the retirements of Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer has no impact on his decision on when he decides to retire himself.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 12, 2018
The 34-year-old considered retirement a year ago, when Arians and Palmer were both returning. It’s just been on his mind for a while. By his own admission, there’s a far more important factor in his thinking that could ultimately return whether he comes back or not.
Speaking Friday ahead of a golf tournament, Fitzgerald told the Golf Channel that he’s waiting to see how the team’s coaching search shakes out before making any decisions on his future.
“I don’t have a head coach right now, so there’s a lot going on,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m gonna take some time, figure it out. Our owner and president Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim are out right now interviewing head coaches, so I’m interested to see what’s gonna happen. I’ll make a decision shortly after, I would imagine.”
It has been reported that Fitzgerald might not be amenable to learning a new system under a new coach. It sounds like Arizona’s decision there will have a lot of bearing on the future Hall of Famer’s decision.
Bruce Arians may not be the only key personality the Arizona Cardinals lose to retirement this offseason.
The Cardinals are still awaiting word on the fates of quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Palmer is seen as a long shot to return, while Fitzgerald may not be keen on working with a new head coach.
While the #AZCardinals have clarity on Bruce Arians, they are still waiting on Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer. The QB seems to be the longest shot to come back, while those who know Fitz well believe he won't want to return for a new system.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 1, 2018
Palmer broke his arm during the season and strongly considered retirement a year ago. Fitzgerald, on the other hand, has some good reasons to think long and hard about a possible return. Whoever the Cardinals bring in as the new head coach may have significant bearing on his ultimate decision.
A year ago, Larry Fitzgerald sounded like he was about ready to end his NFL career. He didn’t, and now it sounds like there may be even more football in his future.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Friday that Fitzgerald is more open to a return next season for various reasons. According to Rapoport, Fitzgerald is more healthy than he was a year ago. He’s also just 563 yards from passing Terrell Owens for the second-most receiving yards in NFL history.
#AZCardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald has left himself open about returning next year. He was in the same situation last year. Would he depart a couple hundred yards shy of eclipsing TO on the all-time receiving list? pic.twitter.com/dr1GOMBQRL
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 22, 2017
Rapoport says the Cardinals believe Fitzgerald will be back in 2018, but the wide receiver is not yet committing to anything.
There may be another retirement hitting the Cardinals this offseason. Fitzgerald’s, however, sounds less likely.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski drew a one-game suspension on Monday for a cheap shot against the Buffalo Bills over the weekend, and at least one fellow Pro Bowler disagrees with the decision
During his usual Monday night appearance on Westwood One Radio, Arizona Cardinals wideout Larry Fitzgerald commented on Gronkowski’s punishment.
“I don’t particularly like the suspension,” said Fitzgerald. “I don’t like when the actions of one player affects his team. Taking him off the field for a complete game is going to really hurt the Patriots.
“I thought he definitely should have been fined heavily,” the veteran wideout continued. “Those kind of plays really don’t have a place in our game. I think the NFL has done a great job of emphasizing that over the last few years. I don’t agree with the one game suspension though.”
Gronkowski was suspended for a dirty after-the-play hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White that wound up concussing him.
What the hell are you doing, Gronk? pic.twitter.com/mZTgJA62eU
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) December 3, 2017
The one-game ban will be costly for both Gronkowski and the Patriots as a whole in Week 14 against the Miami Dolphins. Now we’re seeing the decision to suspend him generate some difference of opinion (even though the consensus seems to be that it was an undeniable cheap shot by Gronkowski).
Week 12 saw an abbreviated Sunday schedule on account of the Thanksgiving Day slate of games, but there were still plenty of top performers — and not-so-top performers.
We had some highly-touted players who didn’t live up to expectations, others who were unlucky to have the days they did, some who failed to keep their cool, and some who were targeted by opposing gameplans and simply couldn’t beat them.
Here’s a list of 15 big disappointments from Week 12’s games.
Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars
Can we put this man out of his misery yet? Please? Bortles threw for 160 yards, no touchdowns, and one horrible interception that changed the game in the final minutes. Said interception set up the winning Arizona field goal. Bortles is lucky that he has an elite defense behind him, because he certainly hasn’t done anything to put the Jaguars in the playoff race.
Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders
This was the first game of Michael Crabtree’s NFL career in which he was held without a single reception. Of course, that wasn’t really all a matter of performance; it was mostly down to the fact that he was ejected in the first quarter of Oakland’s game against the Denver Broncos for fighting with old enemy Aqib Talib. The Raiders won without him, but it was Crabtree who lost his cool and started the altercation. He’s also been accused of sucker-punching another opponent. Whatever his feelings toward Talib, he’s got to be smarter than that.
Larry Fitzgerald may not be ready to call it a career just yet.
Pro Football Talk reported on Thursday that the Arizona Cardinals and Fitzgerald are close to a one-year contract extension that would run through 2018.
Much like Carson Palmer, Fitzgerald has been contemplating retirement for a few years. Even though he’s 34 and has been in the league since 2004, he’s still been a bright spot for the Cardinals. He’s posted consecutive 100-plus reception, 1,000-yard seasons.
This season Fitzgerald has 60 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns while catching passes from Palmer and Drew Stanton.