Just hours before the Arizona Cardinals were set to open their 2016 regular season, news broke that the season might be Larry Fitzgerald's last as an NFL player.
The 33-year-old wide receiver will reportedly retire at the end of the season, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
#AZCardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald has told people close to him that he expects 2016 to be his last season. Assuming it holds, the HOF awaits
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 11, 2016
However, moments after Rapoport's tweet, Larry Fitzgerald's father said that's news to him.
— Larry Fitzgerald Sr. (@FitzBeatSr) September 11, 2016
Cardinals play-by-play man Dave Pasch went on to suggest Fitz's decision may hinge on whether he earns that elusive Super Bowl championship this season.
This may depend on whether he has a ring in February. https://t.co/SDqMSEVYF7
— Dave Pasch (@DavePasch) September 11, 2016
Fitzgerald, whom the Cardinals selected with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, has become the face of the franchise as he's broken a number of team records for wide receivers. His 13,366 receiving yards are the 15th most in NFL history, and his 1,018 receptions and 98 touchdowns are both 11th all-time.
Fitzgerald has 10 postseason receiving touchdowns in his career; only Jerry Rice and John Stallworth have more.
When training camp began in early August, Fitzgerald said he hadn't given much thought to his future after the season. He has repeatedly said that the only thing missing from his NFL career is a Super Bowl ring.
UPDATE: After the Cardinals' loss to the Patriots on Sunday night, Fitzgerald responded to the retirement report.
Larry Fitzgerald on NFL Network report that he plans to retire after this season. pic.twitter.com/ypFX2oSmoR
— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) September 12, 2016