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Larry Fitzgerald: "Pretty Much Made Up My Mind"

Posted Jan 31, 2017

Arians awaiting decision of both star wide receiver and QB Carson Palmer on retirement choice

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (left) and coach Bruce Arians chat during Tuesday's Special Olympics event at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Larry Fitzgerald said he has “pretty much made up my mind” whether he is going to play in 2017 or retire.

But he hasn’t made the final decision, and the wide receiver certainly wasn’t about to give any hints Tuesday while taking part in the Special Olympics putting event at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“I’m going to take a couple of days, a couple of weeks to figure it out,” Fitzgerald added.

The 2017 playing status of Fitzgerald and quarterback Carson Palmer remain unknown. Coach Bruce Arians said he’s been talking to both weekly, and he too is awaiting each decision.

“It’s up to them,” Arians said. “I feel comfortable with where they are at and what’s going to happen. Like everyone, I have my fingers crossed. I think when the juices start flowing and the injuries go away, they’ll come back. But there is nothing to confirm yet.”

Arians was on hand not only to take part in the Special Olympics event but also to meet the media to talk about his Arians Foundation charity golf tournament coming in March. Inevitably, the talk turned to questions about his two veterans.

The Cardinals, through General Manager Steve Keim, have offseason plans for both a roster with Palmer and Fitzgerald and without. Arians said the team does want to know what each status will be before free agency begins in early March, but there is little indication the news wouldn’t come long before then.

“All of our options are out there,” Arians said.

Fitzgerald, who is a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, will be in Houston Saturday and could win the award Saturday night. That would put him on a nationally televised stage. It seems unlikely his future will be announced by then.

Fitzgerald said he is feeling “much better” physically than he did at the end of the season. He didn’t talk much about his situation, although he said the fact next season’s Super Bowl will be in his hometown of Minneapolis has nothing to do with his decision whether or not to play.

He also said his choice isn’t tied to Palmer’s, although when Arians was asked the same, the coach said “probably.”

Fitzgerald said he has not talked to Palmer, who has made it clear he’d like to play if he physically can recover. Fitzgerald noted some of the factors Palmer will consider – his concussion early in the season, his four kids, including one born last year – and said he didn’t think it was anyone’s place to try and influence the choice.

“(Carson) said earlier he wanted to play and I think he does,” Arians said. “He got the hell beat out of him this year. That’s my job, to protect him more.”

Arians and the Cardinals are hoping they get that chance.

“Regardless of whether we come back,” Fitzgerald said, “there’s still so much talent on this team.”

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