Larry Fitzgerald pulled back on his annual offseason global treks this year after his 8-year-old son, Devin, pleaded for his dad to stick around and see more of his baseball games.
One afternoon recently, Dad saw Devin hit two inside-the-park home runs and turned two double plays, "and he was looking at me the whole time," said Fitzgerald, who also has a 3-year-old son, Apollo.
"It goes by so fast," Fitzgerald said.
So too has Fitzgerald's 12 previous NFL seasons. As he heads into his 13th – and into the last year of his contract – it's a natural question to wonder if it could be the last for the Cardinals' wide receiver.
"Honestly, I have no idea," Fitzgerald said. "I really don't look at it like that. I look at it as a day-to-day. I feel good every day, waking up and going to practice. Last year I was able to stay healthy. That puts you in a different state of mind when you are able to get up and do everything you are capable of doing."
Fitzgerald, who will turn 33 in August, is coming off his most prolific season for receptions (109), which he turned into 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns. He had his memorable playoff turn against the Packers, carrying the Cards to a win with his eight catches for 176 yards and the game-winning score.
It's impossible to see any difference for Fitzgerald on the field during voluntary organized team activities this offseason either. No nods to his age, or any pullback.
"I'm still here every day for the most part, still do the reps they ask me to do," Fitzgerald said. "Nothing has changed, for the most part."
Fitzgerald actually loves the fact the Cardinals have returned basically every skill player from last year's offensive powerhouse, which allows for a deeper dive into the playbook this time of year. And he remains a key component of that playbook.
"I think Larry has a lot of tread left on the tire," offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said. "Obviously he's in the last year of his deal – that's out of my payscale – but I think he's still got juice."
With his most recent deal, Fitzgerald is scheduled to cost the Cardinals $9.7 million in cap space next season even though he will no longer be under contract. What happens going forward likely won't be determined until the Cards' season plays out and Fitzgerald's season plays out. Both sides have to figure out what makes the most sense for the future.
Fitzgerald insisted he can't even say right now what the deciding factors might be for him to choose to retire or keep playing.
"There's a long way to go before that would even be a point of discussion," he said. "I'm just enjoying this and trying to make this the best year yet."
Fitzgerald's goals are simple at this point in his career, as decorated as he has been. He wants "two rings" – one for a Super Bowl championship, one for making it to the Hall of Fame. A strong argument can be made that the latter will only be a matter of time once he finally does retire.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, seem to have a team that is in position for the Super Bowl request. If they were able to win, perhaps that would clarify Fitzgerald's decision. Whenever he does finish, he'll have time for both baseball games and trips to far-flung locales.
But Fitzgerald emphasized how much he still loves coming to work every day. That can't be overlooked as a factor either.
"It's good for you to realize you're just a guy catching a ball. A pigskin ball," Fitzgerald said. "It's a great living, good work if you can get it, but I'm not making the world a better place. There are doctors and teachers … but I am very thankful for the job I have."
The Cardinals begin their second week of OTAs