PHOENIX — Will Larry Fitzgerald return for another season? Or have we seen the last of #11? The Cardinals, and the Valley, anxiously await his decision.
"I've said it a few times that he deserves that space," Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim said Wednesday. "At some point in time, I'm sure we'll talk to him here in the near future."
Keim did say he has spoken to Fitzgerald several times recently, but never about his future. He also said the team doesn't necessarily need a decision from Fitzgerald before the start of the new league year on March 17, if he needs more time.
"Knowing him, he's probably just trying to make me sweat," Keim joked. "But, no, I don't know. It's a private thing for a player, and we've always given Larry space and he's taken his time, which, again, there's nobody that deserves that more than him."
Other prominent Valley sports figures commented on Fitzgerald's pending decision on Wednesday.
"He's a beloved player," said ASU head football coach Herm Edwards. "He's a Hall of Famer; there's no doubt about that. But I think what he does in the offseason — he's touched a lot of people in this community. He has made this his home. I can remember Larry when he was the ball boy with the Vikings, right? I go that far back. So, it's just fun to watch him. He's in an offense that — he can still play, if he elects to come back. I mean, he's not gonna play as much as he played before, but he's in a position where he can catch the ball in big moments, and he was able to do that again this year. So, you know, that's up to Larry. The hardest thing for those guys, when you get to where Larry's at right now, is to get yourself ready to play. It's not playing, but it's preparing to play. You know, and when you get older, that's tougher. And he's a professional, you know, one thing I know about Larry — if he's gonna play, he wants to play at a certain level. He doesn't want to watch yourself on tape being just a guy hanging around. I mean, he's not built that way. So it'll be interesting what decision he makes.”
Suns star Devin Booker highlighted the impact and mentorship that Fitzgerald has had on him Wednesday.
"Coming into Arizona 5, 6 years ago, I remember sitting back and reflecting around the city around the community, seeing how people respected him. And then developing a relationship with him and understanding why he has the reputation that he does. Just the charisma, the hard work that you see him put in, I'm really grateful for our relationship. He's took me in since I've been here, he's accepted me. Invited me to a lot of his community events that I've attended. I've tried to make my impact on the community in a similar way. He was the blueprint for that coming into Arizona and still is," Booker said. "That's why he's Fitz the legend."