Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim has been in constant communication with Larry Fitzgerald and his agent about a new contract.
Steve Keim said Friday he doesn't want to negotiate the new contract of wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald through the media, which is probably one of the reasons the Cardinals' General Manager has kept a relatively low profile since the end of the season.
But he continued to say the same things that team president Michael Bidwill and coach Bruce Arians have said, which is that he would like to have Fitzgerald remain a Cardinal.
"It'd be awfully tough for me to see Larry Fitzgerald wearing another uniform," Keim said during an appearance on the
"Doug and Wolf" show on Arizona Sports 98.7.
Fitzgerald is due an $8 million salary and an $8 million roster bonus in mid-March, and carries a $23.6M salary cap hit for 2015 – numbers the Cardinals cannot carry. Keim said the Cardinals, as of now, are about $16 million over the salary cap.
"We have some tough decisions ahead of us," Keim said.
The team needs to be in cap compliance by March 10, which is the beginning of the league year and also the beginning of free agency.
Keim said there was no "exact timetable" to get the deal done. In a perfect world, Keim acknowledged, it would be good to have something done by the beginning of free agency.
Talks about a new contract started as far back as last offseason, when Fitzgerald restructured his salary to $1 million (and collected the balance in an immediate bonus.) Keim plans to have a face-to-face sitdown with Fitzgerald agent Eugene Parker next week when both are in Indianapolis for the Scouting combine.
"The communication has been constant and hopefully we have a resolution both sides can be happy with," Keim said.
-- Keim also said quarterback Carson Palmer stopped by the team facility Thursday and "looks fantastic" while rehabbing from a torn ACL. Keim said Palmer looks to have put on some lean muscle and is ahead of schedule in his rehab.
-- Until linebacker Daryl Washington is reinstated by the league, Keim said the Cardinals cannot make any further plans with Washington. "It's in the league's hands," Keim said.
-- Keim said he would "love" to bring back cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who is a free agent-to-be and raved about Cromartie's efforts in 2014. Left unsaid by Keim was that Cromartie's market value is likely to push the veteran out of the Cardinals' price range.
-- Confidence remains in the Cards' top two 2013 draft picks, guard Jonathan Cooper and linebacker Kevin Minter. But Keim said both have to find a way to stay healthy, and both face high expectations within the organization because they are such high picks.
Black and white photos of the Cardinals during 2014 home games