He's a different player just from when the NFL Network began its annual Top 100 list following the 2010 season.
But Fitzgerald, who will turn 37 next month and is going into his 17th NFL season, remains the same in one regard – his peers across the league, regardless of what Fitzgerald might have accomplished statistically in any given year, continue to vote him in to the Top 100.
Fitzgerald was announced Monday night as No. 69 on this year's list, which happens to be the 10th annual. Fitzgerald has made the list in each year, one of four such players and the only non-quarterback. He was 60th last year.
Spots 40 through 11 will be revealed Tuesday, and the top 10 counted down on Wednesday. The telecasts begin at 5 p.m. Pacific time each evening.
Quarterback Kyler Murray was No. 90 on the list and safety Budda Baker No. 97. Linebacker Chandler Jones and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins are both expected to be on the list at some point. It shouldn't have been a surprise that Fitzgerald was as well.
Here are Fitz's Top 100 rankings through the years:
- 2020 No. 69
- 2019 No. 60
- 2018 No. 27
- 2017 No. 45
- 2016 No. 27
- 2015 No. 68
- 2014 No. 38
- 2013 No. 22
- 2012 No. 7
- 2011 No. 14
Fitzgerald finished last season with 75 receptions for 804 yards and four touchdowns, numbers that won't rank among the best in his career but still caught the attention of the players who vote. Fitzgerald showed he could still stand out, with a red-hot start to begin the season – his efforts on a couple of Murray deep throws in the opener against the Lions were the key reason the Cardinals were able to rally for a tie in that game.
Fitzgerald surpassed Tony Gonzalez for the second-most career receptions in NFL history last season, after surpassing Terrell Owens for second-most receiving yards the season before. Jerry Rice is the leader in both categories.
The addition of Hopkins should aid Fitzgerald's statistical chances this season, as the Cardinals integrate one of the top receivers in the league into the offense. So perhaps there will be an 11th Top 100 appearance for the future Hall of Famer.