Larry Fitzgerald explains why he decided to return to the Cardinals next season

Posted at 3:41 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 17:41:45-05

He simply couldn't let it end like that.

That's the crux of Larry Fitzgerald's decision earlier this week to return to the Arizona Cardinals for at least one more season.

On Friday, Fitzgerald told Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio that the aches and pains of the 16-week NFL season are finally beginning to take a major toll on his body -- but he wants another crack at that elusive world championship following the Cards' disappointing 2016 season.

"This is probably the first year (I considered retirement). It had never really come into my mind like that (before), but after this year, I was so banged up physically, mentally, psychologically," Fitzgerald said.

"Falling short of your goal, finishing the season terribly after what we were able to accomplish a year before, I just didn't want to go out like that. That's not where I wanted to finish my career, on a 7-8-1 team. I wanted to try to finish on a much higher note."

Now that Fitzgerald has announced his return, the Cardinals await a decision from 37-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer, who has also been contemplating retirement.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he expects Palmer to return next season, but Fitzgerald refused to make such a prediction.

"I don't have any expectations. Carson's going to make a decision that's best for him," Fitzgerald said.

"As a friend and as a teammate, I think it's in our best interest to let him take his time and make a decision that's best for him and his family. We missed him in a game to a concussion last year. We want to make sure he's in his right mind and make a decision that's best for him and his family. We would love to have him back because he's one of the best in the business."

Regardless of whether Palmer returns, Fitzgerald believes the Cardinals have the tools to return to the playoffs next season and contend for the one thing missing from his career: a Super Bowl ring.

"We've got a great team coming back next year, a wonderful coach in Bruce Arians. I'm really excited about our prospects," he said.