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GM Steve Keim: No extension talks with Larry Fitzgerald yet

With Larry Fitzgerald's future a hot topic going into the last home game of the season, GM Steve Keim was asked Friday during his appearance on the "Doug and Wolf" show on 98.7 Arizona's Sports Station if the Cardinals have discussed an extension with the veteran wide receiver. As of now, Fitzgerald does not have a contract for 2019.

"We don't get into that with Larry at this point and time," Keim said. "It's no different than the last couple of years. We will give him that grace period to sort of reflect and see how his body feels like a lot of the vets do. Those are the conversations that will come after the season."

That has been the way the Cardinals have handled Fitzgerald's consideration of retirement or keeping his career going, although this is the latest in a season Fitzgerald has not been under contract. Last year, the Cards and Fitz did agree to a 2018 extension in mid-November, not because Fitzgerald had made up his mind about playing another year (he still took his month or so after the season to decide) but to have him settled contract-wise if he did. The one bonus the Cards have this season is that they will have much more salary cap room than usual, so absorbing a new Fitz deal would not be as complicated.

-- As for the crowd response Keim expects Sunday since it could potentially be Fitz's final home game, the GM said he didn't think it would be any different than other home games. "When he catches the ball, they give the 'Lar-ry' chants, he energizes the crowd," Keim said. "Last week, playing in Atlanta, the one thing that defines Larry Fitzgerald was in the fourth quarter, caught the ball over the middle and finishes versus the defensive back with the tenacity you would expect from a Hall-of-Fame-type player. Again, that's what defines Larry Fitzgerald to me. That passion, the commitment to the organization and his will to win."

-- Keim was asked how he might be evaluating the coaching staff the final two games. "It's no different than every week," he said. "Making good decisions with our roster with where we are at, and trying to put guys in positions to succeed and finding a way to get a win. That's what it is about every week and putting our best foot forward. ... We have seen some improvement from some of our younger players but at the same time we all know this season has been unacceptable. We haven't gotten it done, and there is no doubt we have to take a hard look at every phase of this organization."

-- Finally, on the subject of Josh Rosen continuing to start under rough circumstances and a struggling offense, Keim said it makes sense for the rookie QB to play against the division rival Rams and Seahawks and their respective defensive masterminds.

"I don't think that Wade Phillips or Pete Carroll are going anywhere soon," Keim said. "Schematically, getting those looks from two teams I'm sure have a lot to play for, moving forward into the future with us, there are a lot of things he can learn from these two games. The more he gets familiar with our division, the more he plays not only against the schematical side of it but the personnel, I think is beneficial to him."

Keim Time POCKET

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