Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald participates in curling in Minneapolis, site of this year's Super Bowl.
Now that Steve Wilks is settling in as the Cardinals’ new coach, the focus has shifted to the next pair of dominoes: Larry Fitzgerald’s future, and the team’s decision at quarterback.
On Friday morning in Minneapolis – site of Sunday’s Super Bowl – the Cardinals’ star wide receiver said the two could be linked. While making media rounds to promote the new contactless Visa card, Fitzgerald was asked on the Dan Patrick Show how important it would be to know the team’s quarterback when deciding on his playing status for 2018.
“That’s everything to me,” said Fitzgerald, who is under contract for next season but hasn’t committed to returning. “It’s all predicated on who’s throwing the ball. I can’t do my job at the level you want to do it if you don’t have somebody there that can consistently get it to you. I’ve had some years in Arizona where things weren’t always easy, but they’ve always done a good job of addressing that position, and they’re trying to.”
The Cardinals don’t currently have a quarterback under contract for 2018, as Carson Palmer retired after the season and Drew Stanton, Matt Barkley and Blaine Gabbert are impending free agents.
While Wilks said the team’s plan is to be “active and aggressive” with its quarterback pursuit in free agency, that won’t begin until mid-March. The draft has intriguing prospects, but the first round doesn’t kick off until April 26.
Fitzgerald made his decision to come back for the 2017 season on Feb. 1 of last year, but he knew then Palmer was likely returning as well.
Patrick asked Fitzgerald on Friday how many more years he would like to play.
“That’s an interesting question,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t really know. I really don’t know. I still enjoy it. It’s fun. I love being around my teammates. It sucks missing the playoffs.”
Fitzgerald finished last season with 109 catches for 1,156 yards and six touchdown, his third straight year with more than 100 catches and 1,000 yards receiving. If he returns to play in 2018 at age 35, Fitzgerald will likely pass Terrell Owens for second place in all-time receiving yards behind only Jerry Rice.
Fitzgerald said he had a conversation with Palmer about when it’s the right time to hang it up.
“Carson told me that you just know when it’s time,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s what he told me, and a lot of guys have told me that as they’ve gotten older. You kind of know. The game tells you.”
It was suggested the way Fitzgerald has played, the game isn’t telling Fitzgerald yet.
“You don’t know what it feels like on Monday, after that, though,” Fitzgerald added.