The Arizona Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald could be headed for a split in the future and if the team looks at the release or trade of the wide receiver, teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Vikings could be interested in picking him up.
Fitzgerald is one of the top receivers in the league, but over the past few years his production has slipped for the Cardinals. Part of that has been due to issues at the quarterback position, but Fitzgerald is also getting past the age of 30 and that is when players usually start to drop off. According to ESPN.com, Cardinals president Michael Bidwell said that the team and Fitzgerald have been in contact about working on a new contract, but so far no deal has been reached.
Fitzgerald is set to be a $23 million cap hit for the 2015 season and that is why the team is looking to get that number down. The team has over 10 free agents to deal with signing back and while Fitzgerald has some great career numbers, it will be hard to build a roster with one player taking up that money, especially when they are 31. Fitzgerald led the team in receptions last season, but his numbers were some of his lowest in years.
Fitzgerald could be a potential option to replace Danny Amendola is he is released by the Patriots, while the Seahawks have been looking to get another playmaker to step in after trading Percy Harvin. ESPN Boston reports that if the Cardinals release Fitzgerald, the Patriots would be interested in adding him. Fox Sports Arizona reported earlier this offseason that Fitzgerald likely will not be with the team in 2015, as he may not be willing to take a pay cut. Fitzgerald has a cap hit over $20 million and that is a lot for any one player, especially one that will be 32 when the season starts. The site later said that the two sides have "positive movement" on a deal, but that doesn't mean they will be able to come to an agreement this offseason.
Fitzgerald had a down year despite being one of the leaders for the Cardinals, as he once again was under 800 yards receiving, the second time he has done that in three years. Fitzgerald came in with five straight 1000 yard seasons, but the last three have been below that number and he had just 63 catches this season, a low since back in his rookie season. Bruce Arians has Michael Floyd and John Brown as options that are emerging and that have pushed Fitzgerald back a bit.
The Cardinals went 11-5 last season and ended up having to travel to play Carolina despite the Panthers having a losing record. Losing Palmer was very tough for the Cardinals and now they have some major questions heading into 2015. The front office is optimistic that Carson Palmer will make a full recovery, but that will be his second major knee surgery. Fitzgerald is still up in the air and the team needs to make some major upgrades on offense, as they were second worst in the league in rushing last season.