“I don’t have a specific timetable, but I think there’s no reason after the Super Bowl not to move along with it as reasonably quickly as we can,” Cardinals president Michael Bidwill told ESPN.com on Friday.
Fitzgerald traveled to Australia the week of the Pro Bowl but returned to Arizona in time for Super Bowl week.
Bidwill said he hosted Fitzgerald for dinner at his home a few weeks ago and the two discussed Fitzgerald’s future with the team, which currently includes four years left on his contract. Fitzgerald is scheduled to earn $16.25 million in 2015 with a $23.6 million cap hit.
“That’s where he told me he wants to stay with the team and get this worked out,” Bidwill said of the dinner. “We talked a lot about how we can build the roster around him and take the next step because we weren’t satisfied with getting eliminated in the wild-card round.
“We want to go to Super Bowl next year and that’s what the plan is and that’s what we’re going to do. So, we've got a lot of work to do in free agency and the draft and he knows that renegotiating that contract will allow us to do it.”
The Cardinals have until early March to decide if they want to pay Fitzgerald an $8 million roster bonus, cut him or renegotiate his current contract.
Bidwill said Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has had talks with Fitzgerald’s agent, Eugene Parker.
Asked about the benefits of keeping Fitzgerald, Bidwill called him the “face of our organization” in the middle of a long answer about how the team reveres Fitzgerald.
But when he was asked what the team would lose if a new deal can’t be hammered out with Fitzgerald, Bidwill kept his answer short.
“We’re," he said, "planning on keeping him.”