Posted by Josh Katzowitz
An interesting tidbit in the contract of Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald was discovered by the sources of ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Basically, as Schefter reports, the Cardinals will not have the opportunity to place the franchise tag on Fitzgerald once his contract expires after this season.
Obviously, this is a very Fitzgerald-friendly clause, because assuming it could slap the tag on Fitzgerald, Arizona could keep him another season without having to sign him to a long-term deal (the caveat there is that the Cardinals would have to pay him the average of the top-five WRs in the league). That still would give the team plenty of leverage.
Most players hate this maneuver because it restricts their flexibility -- where they can play and how much they can play for. But somehow, Fitzgerald got it written into his four-year, $40 million contract that he signed in 2008 that the franchise tag is moot in his case.
The Cardinals and Fitzgerald are apparently working on a long-term deal, and with the addition of a few key free agents -- which, conveniently, you can check out in our Free Agent Tracker! -- it seems that Fitzgerald actually is interested in staying in Arizona long term.
Apparently, giving Fitzgerald some help at the TE spot (Todd Heap) and the QB spot (Kevin Kolb instead of, ugh, Derek Anderson) made him more willing to tie himself to Arizona for the future.
“Life is good. WWe have a QB, TE and I couldn’t be happier with the way this team is coming together” Fitzgerald told Xtra 910 AM earlier this month.
And luckily for Fitzgerald, it sounds like the Cardinals want to give him a ton of money.
"We want Larry to end his career as an Arizona Cardinal," GM Rod Graves told The Associated Press earlier this month, "and we are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in team history and one of the highest-paid players in the NFL."
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