Larry Fitzgerald bracing for departure from Cardinals

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald does not believe he will be back with the Cardinals next season.

Fitzgerald, 31, has continued to play strongly as a complementary piece even as his days of being an elite NFL receiver have passed. Carrying a $23.6 million cap number for 2015 a departure has seemed inevitable for years.

It appears Fitzgerald wants the Cardinals to give him a revised deal so he can walk away from it.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that we’ve said all along it’s our intent to have Larry Fitzgerald retire a Cardinal,” general manager Steve Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM last week. “I don’t want to get into it too deep, but with planning purposes, financially, from a cap standpoint, all those sorts of things, we have Larry’s number already baked into our numbers.”

“We’ve had ongoing talks with (Fitzgerald’s agent) Eugene Parker, and we will continue to have ongoing talks,” Keim added. “Even though it’s still not 2015, it’s my job to look at 2015, ’16, ’17 and years beyond, and we have to make good business decisions.”

Fitzgerald has not topped the 1,000 yard receiving mark since 2011 though he did find the endzone 10 times in 2013. For the 2014 season he finished with 784 yards receiver and two touchdowns.

Due an $8 million roster bonus in March, this one should play out rather quickly once the Cardinals are eliminated from the playoffs. Fitzgerald was given an eight-year contract worth $120 million in 2011.

If Fitzgerald leaves the Cardinals he is not going to find any teams willing to take him on as the focal point of their offense.