NFL Notes: Larry Fitzgerald, Derek Carr, Cam Newton

Larry Fitzgerald

Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald still has not made his plans for the 2021 season public. He’s not technically under contract but if he chooses to play instead of retire, Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury seemed to suggest finding a roster spot for him wouldn’t be an issue. 

“That’s the No. 1 question I get asked anywhere I go. It’s not, ‘How are y’all going to be?’ it’s, ‘Have you talked Fitz into coming back?’” Kingsbury said via’s Howard Balzer. “I think that says a lot about what he means to this state, this area, this organization, but any room that Larry Fitzgerald is in, he’s going to make dramatically better. There’s no doubt.”

Former teammate and Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson, now with the Vikings, said on the All Things Covered Podcast with Bryant McFadden that in his opinion, “If he ain’t retired yet, he ain’t going to retire.” Peterson added he hasn’t heard any speculation about if Fitzgerald would be open to joining him in Minnesota, where he grew up. 

“No, I haven’t,” Peterson said. “That would be interesting if he wanted to come back to Minnesota, but I necessarily don’t see that happening. If there was a team that he was going back to, it would be Arizona.”

Peterson did go on to add that it wouldn’t shock him if Fitzgerald ended up rejoining Bruce Arians with the Buccaneers to chase a Super Bowl ring.

“Larry understands the position that he is in right now. He’s not going to go out there and give you 40, 50 plays a game. He understands he can probably go out there and give you a good 20, at least. And why not it be in a system you already know in Bruce Arians or come back to Arizona if they are able to make a run, help those guys make a push in the playoffs,” he said. 

Derek Carr

Raiders QB Derek Carr said he’s fully committed to playing his entire career with the organization and would “probably quit football” if forced to play elsewhere. 

“There’s still more and I want to do it here,” Carr said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I don’t want to do it anywhere else. I’ve said it over and over. I’d probably quit football if I had to play for somebody else.”

Carr added that he doesn’t require the “perfect situation” in order to stay with the Raiders on a long-term basis. It’s worth mentioning that Carr has two years left on his contract. 

“I am a Raider for my entire life. I’m going to root for one team for the rest of my life and that’s the Raiders. I just feel that so strong in my heart. I don’t need a perfect situation to make things right.”

Carr feels it would be a “better story” to win a championship with the Raiders and reiterated that he doesn’t feel the urge to pursue a Super Bowl with another organization.

“I just think personally that would be a better story for my life,” Carr said. “For other people, if they want to do other things, that’s great. I’d rather go down with the ship if I have to. That’s just my personality.”

Cam Newton

Despite everything that went wrong about his situation in 2020, Patriots QB Cam Newton knows what he put out on film was nowhere near his best. In an effort to pull his career back from the brink, Newton has returned to private QB coach George Whitfield, who he worked with coming out of college, to rebuild his mechanics going into 2021. 

“From a progress standpoint, he’s right on track. This is the first offseason in nearly eight years that he’s not recovering from a major surgery. He’s usually ironing out dents and damage to his machine,” Whitfield said via Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. “This offseason he gets to focus on the recalibration of his tools and weapons. Being afforded that focus will mean all the difference.”

Whitfield added Newton’s relentless work ethic is still there. The two have sessions in the evening after the quarterback has already put in a full day’s work at the team facility. Whitfield notes Newton is well aware of the criticism around him, and even if he doesn’t agree with all of it, he knows the only way to make it go away is to play better. 

“He does carry this feeling where it feels like the grand majority of Patriot Nation, they kind of sighed when he re-signed,” said Whitfield. “He’s also humble enough to say he didn’t put good film on tape last year. So I’m trying to fix what came loose. And he’s working on self-correcting.”

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