According to Cardinals HC Bruce Arians, they “desperately” want WR Larry Fitzgerald to be back for the 2015 season, but admitted that he’s nervous about the situation.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t,” Arians said, via AzCardinals.com. “We definitely, desperately want him to stay. He knows that. It’s really his decision.”
Arians added that he’s hoping that they will be able to get something worked out with Fitzgerald in the coming months.
“I’m hoping and praying every day that it does happen,” Arians said. “I’ve expressed to him personally how much it means to us.”
On Thursday, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill told Pro Football Talk that they’ve had “a lot of great conversations” with Fitzgerald in recent weeks.
Bidwill said that he’s confident that something will ultimately be worked out and Fitzgerald will be back for the 2015 season.
“I think so. We’ve had a lot of great conversations and I’m feeling very comfortable we’ll get something worked out,” Bidwill said. “He’s been traveling since the end of the season and he’s back in town now. Obviously everybody’s busy this week, but I think in the coming weeks we’ll get something sorted out.”
This fits with what Bidwill has been saying for a few weeks now, so it really shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that he’s optimistic that they’ll have an agreement at some point that will reduce Fitzgerald’s massive cap figure of $23.6 million.
Fitzgerald, 31, is in the fourth year of his eight-year, $128.5 million contract that included $50 million guaranteed. After reworking his contract, Fitzgerald received an $11.75 million signing bonus and has a base salary of $1 million for the 2014 season.
Next year, Fitzgerald has an $8 million roster bonus that’s due in March to go along with his base salary of $8 million in 2015.
After that, his salaries are $15 million and $14.75 million for the final two years of the agreement.
Fitzgerald finished the regular season with 63 catches for 784 yards and two touchdowns over the course of 14 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 31 receiver out of 110 qualifying players.