Larry Fitzgerald is coming off three straight seasons of 100-plus receptions and 1,000-plus yards. Yet as he's set to turn 35 years old before the 2018 season, questions about longevity continue to hover around the future Hall of Fame receiver.
It's become almost a yearly ritual to speculate on Fitzgerald's future with the Arizona Cardinals. Gossip about trading Fitzy (namely to the New England Patriots) is becoming one of the most predictable storylines. With the Cards playing in a potentially tough NFC West with a rebuilt team and a new coach, trade questions could swirl again. If Arizona gets off to a rocky start, calls to trade Fitzgerald to a winner to chase a Super Bowl ring could get loud.
For his part, Fitzgerald has no interest in playing anywhere but the desert. Speaking with the St. Paul Pioneer Press from his annual youth camp in his hometown in Minnesota, the veteran said he has no desire to trade jerseys.
"If I'm not playing in Arizona, I won't be playing anywhere," Fitzgerald said. "I've built a good life for myself down there. Playing in the same place for 15 years is a true blessing."
Fitzgerald reportedly mulled retirement the past two seasons. He said back in January he'd play as long as he can perform at a high level. Turning 35 years old at the end of August, Fitzgerald remains one of the best receiving security blankets in the NFL. He pointed to the likes of Serena Williams (36) and LeBron James (33) playing at a high level in their respective sports to note how "older" athletes can thrive.
"It doesn't really matter about the age, it's about what you put into it and your mindset," he said. "Everybody kind of takes numbers and assumes this is when it's supposed to end. As an athlete, fortunately, you write your own script. If you still produce and you play at a high level, you kind of determine how long you want to play. If I can stay at a high level, I still keep destiny in my own hands."
With the Cardinals breaking in two new quarterbacks in Sam Bradford and rookie Josh Rosen, having Fitzgerald is a big boon. The veteran receiver seems destined to help bridge the gap to the Rosen era. Whether Fitzgerald is around to see the potential fruits of that labor remains to be seen.