Not so long ago, Larry Fitzgerald was out-running Troy Polamalu and company to the end zone for what looked like a Super Bowl clinching touchdown reception for his Arizona Cardinals. Thanks to Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes, that wasn’t quite the case.
Several years later, the thought of Fitzgerald running past AFC North defensive backs sounds quite intriguing doesn’t it? Based on what I’ve heard, Fitzgerald might want to come back to the Steel City and finish his career with the Steelers.
First things first however; this can happen only if the Steelers want to make it happen and if Fitzgerald is willing to work for relatively small potatoes.
Right now, the Cards owe Fitzgerald an $8 million roster bonus if he is on the active roster on the fifth day after the new league year begins. March 10th is the official first day of the 2015 NFL calendar if you’re scoring at home.
While the roster bonus is impressive, Fitzgerald would also count over $23 million against the Cardinals’ salary cap for 2015 and there’s no way that’s going to happen. Arizona Team President Michael Bidwell believes Fitzgerald “will be back” but there’s a lot of work to be done.
So let’s say a deal doesn’t get done. Fitzgerald’s numbers were down across the board in 2014 but much of that was due to guys like Drew Stanton and Ryan Lindley trying to throw him the ball. Is he still a legitimate outside threat? Maybe, but he’s still a threat period and that’s what matters.
Fitzgerald has reportedly made over $110 million in his career and played his college ball at Pitt so perhaps money isn’t the be-all end-all most think it would be. Factor in the case that he has trained in the offseason with Ben Roethlisberger and is an amazing person off the field and you have a somewhat legitimate shot he finishes his career in Pittsburgh.
With two young receivers coming along in Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant and the defense in need of serious upgrades, perhaps this is a pipe dream.
Then again, this is the offseason and this is the time of year where we dream out loud isn’t it?
photo courtesy rantsports.com