I caught up with Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald very early Saturday morning – at least early here in Arizona. Fitzgerald was in Columbus, Ohio, for the esteemed Arnold Sports Festival. We talked about the Cardinals while he was there to talk about sports nutrition and EAS.
By Fitzgerald restructuring his deal, it gave the Cardinals relief for the 2014 offseason. But that’s about it. By converting $11.75 million of his salary into a signing bonus in early February, Fitzgerald’s cap number increased for the remainder of his contract, making it likely he won’t be with the team in 2015 without another restructured deal. But Fitzgerald isn’t thinking about the future.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Fitzgerald said. “I can control what happens this year. Go for 1,300, 1,400 [receiving yards], 13 touchdowns, 1,000 catches in a Cardinals uniform. A large part of that is out of my control.
“You don’t control your destiny.
“That’s all I focus on, is next year.”
Fitzgerald said he tried to give advice to longtime friend and teammate Andre Roberts, who will be a free agent on March 11, but he couldn’t talk about free agency so much. See, Fitzgerald has never been a free agent.He told Roberts not to let his emotions direct his decisions, that it has to be what’s best for himself and his family.
“I want him to be in Arizona. This is a business,” Fitzgerald said. “I want him to be compensated for his ability, for which he has a lot of. I want to help him out as best I can.”
Fitzgerald didn’t see one specific area the Cardinals could improve on, rather he felt improvements could be made throughout the team.
“We played in the toughest division in football,” Fitzgerald said. “I think everybody can improve in every facet. Everybody needs to improve to compete in the tough NFC West division.”
Fitzgerald’s personal sentiments toward possibly having an openly gay player in the locker room are shared by many of his teammates. Asked if the Cards are ready to have Michael Samas a potential teammate, Fitzgerald didn’t think his teammates put much thought into Sam being openly gay.
“All that matters is, can he get the quarterback to the ground,” Fitzgerald said. “You got all kinds of characters in the locker room.”