Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has yet to decide if he'll return for his age-36 season in 2019, or if it's time to hang up the cleats on a legendary career.
Don't expect a decision soon from the perennial Pro Bowler, either. Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (h/t the Arizona Republic), Fitzgerald explained that he's simply going to take his time before making a decision about either retiring or returning for another season.
"There's a checklist I always go through and sometimes I'm able to get to my conclusion faster than others," Fitzgerald said. "I have to do my due diligence in terms of just taking some time to let your body heal because when you're sore and your fingers are broken, it's easy to say, 'Man, I just don't want to do this anymore. My body's hurting.' You have to give yourself some time to decompress and take a step back."
Though he still made some big-time plays with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, Fitzgerald had one of his worst seasons as a professional - which you can expect for a 35-year-old wideout. He caught 69 passes for 734 yards - the fewest total of his career -and six touchdowns.
A lot of that can be attributed to the struggles at the quarterback position, while young wideout Christian Kirk emerged as the team's top pass-catcher. Fitzgerald has maintained that he only wants to play for the Cardinals, so he has to decide if it's worth playing another year with a team in rebuilding mode.
The 11-time Pro Bowler has the second most receiving yards in NFL history, and Fitzgerald ranks third ever in catches. He's been the model of consistency for a decade and a half, and Fitzgerald is a lock to reach the Hall of Fame at this point.
Arizona hired Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to take over for the fired Steve Wilks, and they own the first overall pick in this year's draft. There's a major shake-up taking place in the organization, and Fitzgerald simply has to decide if he wants to be part of it.
What This Means
The Cardinals would surely love Fitzgerald to come back for another year, given his strong play on the field and excellent leadership in the locker room. It's anybody's guess what Fitzgerald is leaning towards right now, but it could be a while until we find out what his final decision is.