Wednesday, February 1

Did Larry Fitzgerald Retire? Explaining why Cardinals WR has yet to return to the NFL in 2021

For 17 years, Larry Fitzgerald was a mainstay in the Cardinals offense. He spent every season with the team after being selected as the No. 3 overall pick in Pitt’s 2004 NFL Draft, and has earned a Hall of Fame career.

Fitzgerald has 1,432 career receptions. He has recorded 17,492 receiving yards. He has also scored 121 touchdowns. Impressively, all of that came with what was largely a revolving door at the quarterback position.

Fitzgerald is hands down the best receiver the Cardinals have ever had. But where is it now? For the first time since 2003, he is not honoring the Cardinals’ sideline. Instead, Arizona will have a loaded receiving corps, but one that doesn’t feature its most beloved and longest-serving player.

Did Larry Fitzgerald Retire? Here’s what the Arizona legend is up to right now and his thoughts on playing in the NFL again one day.

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Did Larry Fitzgerald Retire?

Larry Fitzgerald has yet to officially announce his retirement from the NFL. He’s a free agent, but he doesn’t seem interested in signing anywhere at this time.

“I just don’t feel like playing right now,” Fitzgerald said in an interview with Jim Gray at the end of August. “I don’t know how I will feel in September, October, November in the future, but today, I just don’t have that drive.”

And as long as that urge to play isn’t there, Fitzgerald doesn’t plan to return to the field. Why?

“I think I have to be respectful of that,” Fitzgerald said. “Soccer is not one of those games where you want to go out and play and not be fully engaged and ready to get ready and do the necessary things that you have to do.”

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Could Larry Fitzgerald play in 2021?

Fitzgerald left the door open for a possible return. That’s one of the reasons he hasn’t applied for retirement with the NFL as of this writing.

But will he eventually feel the spark and the desire to play?

“I have no idea,” Fitzgerald said, according to the official Cardinals website. “I’ve been doing this for over thirty years and every year that I’ve done it, I’ve felt a certain way. I’ve felt the need to go out there and do it, and I just don’t feel that good right now.

“I don’t know if it’s going to change. But if it does, it does. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m not thinking about it too much.”

Could the chance to win a Super Bowl change Fitzgerald’s mind? He indicated that he wants to win a Super Bowl, but is not sure if he loves “the process” of getting to where he is now enough.

“The search is the Lombardi Trophy, but you have to be in love with the process of finding the Lombardi Trophy,” Fitzgerald said. “That is the most important part.”

If Fitzgerald does finally return, the Cardinals could welcome him. The team has great receiving depth in DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore, so Fitzgerald could get back in shape behind those guys before earning a situational role with the team.

At the same time, would you want to come back for a small role? That remains unclear.

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And would the Cardinals want him after he averaged 7.6 yards per reception, the worst of his career, last year? That’s also unclear, although they certainly would love to have him around for his leadership ability.

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What is Larry Fitzgerald doing now?

Fitzgerald is actually working as a radio broadcast on a podcast called “Let’s Go!” with Tom Brady and Gray. The show focuses on trending topics from across the NFL, including the Bengals and Cardinals teams on the rise, as well as Brady’s game against the Patriots in Foxboro.

The show also features “deep and introspective personal conversations with each of these future Hall of Fame soccer players.” according to your description.

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