Who will Larry Fitzgerald play for next season? The future hall of fame wide receiver is currently in the last year of his contract with the Arizona Cardinals. He has played with the Cardinals his entire career, and as of Friday morning, he will be on the books for at least one more season. Early Friday morning the Cardinals announced they had signed Fitzgerald to a one year extension, worth approximately $11 million. The contract is no guarantee that Fitzgerald will play in 2018, but rather assurance that if he chooses to return, Fitzgerald will be in a Cardinals uniform. What does this mean for the Cardinals in 2018? What does this mean for this season?
2017 Still in Play
The Cardinals take on the Houston Texans on Sunday afternoon and are looking to keep their slim postseason hopes alive. Entering the game, Arizona is two games out of the final wild card spot, currently held by the Seattle Seahawks. Based purely on remaining games to play, the Cardinals have an outside chance as they have matchups against both the Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams in the division as well as the Washington Redskins. All three opponents are currently above the Cardinals in the playoff standings. The Cardinals have the talent to win those games. The deal for Fitzgerald happening now allows the team and player to focus on the crucial games coming up.
2018 Return for Palmer
The choice for Fitzgerald to re-sign and the decision for the front office to get a deal done may provide a glimpse of how the decision makers think about next season. With Fitzgerald signed for 2018, it will be interesting to see if quarterback Carson Palmer commits to next season. Fitzgerald and Palmer could both retire after this season, but with the receiver signing a contract for 2018, that is a major push towards him coming back for next season which could bring Palmer back as well. Palmer is on injured reserve and out for the season, but he would be welcomed back for what may be a final run for a championship next season. A healthy Cardinals offense is potent and the overall talent of the team is still impressive.
In the end the contract extension means next to nothing for fans of the Cardinals. Fitzgerald has a decision to make at the end of the season, whenever that may be, but Cardinals fans should focus more on enjoying the time he has left this season rather than what could happen next. Larry Fitzgerald will be a hall of fame inductee once he becomes eligible. His time with the team may be nearing an end, but this contract offers a glimmer of hope.