Following a bad season, there is always speculation for any team to blow up their previously successful core and start over. Even with no collective bargaining agreement and a myriad of uncertainty about next season, the trade talks persist. In this case, with regard to Cardinals’ Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald.
NESN.com reported that Arizona would consider moving Fitzgerald for “the right price.” Presumably for a multitude of draft picks. Current NFL players cannot be traded until a new CBA is agreed upon.
With Arizona’s bleak quarterback situation and upgrades needed on both sides of the ball, it is easy to conjure trade projections for a player of Fitzgerald’s caliber.
However, the recent trade rumor probably has less merit than commissioner Roger Goodell’s $1 salary claim (can we get a pay stub with that promise).
First, consider the source, NESN (Northeast Sports Network) covers the New England Patriots, a team with 4 picks in the first two rounds of this April’s draft and no true “go-to” receiver on the roster.
A package involving these picks in exchange for Fitzgerald would make sense in theory, but only if the Cards could be in a position to add a quarterback who can help them right away and a capable replacement for Fitzgerald.
The seven-year veteran is on the back end of his latest contract extension and is looking for a new one. Fitzgerald has also stated he is not interested in sticking around for another rebuilding period.
Add all of these together and a paranoid fan could easily see No. 11 easily leaving the desert, especially given Arizona’s sordid past with extending contracts.
However, rarely has the franchise seen a player of Fitzgerald’s talent; an unheard of mix of size, speed, hands, route-running and desire. He has become one of the most popular athletes the city has ever had and should not be discarded unless absolutely necessary.
With the NFL’s situation in the state it is, player movement will be almost impossible to predict - even if a new CBA is in place in the near future.
In any case, Fitzgerald’s name may be a juicy one to mention in trade talks, but after the season the Redbirds just had, they need all the talent they can get. That mission starts with holding on to the team’s best player, something Arizona will almost certainly do.
Follow Ryan Knowles on Twitter: @RyKno52