Report: Larry Fitzgerald Expected To Retire Ahead of 2021 NFL Season

Published 04/03/2021, 4:26 PM EDT


Very few among active NFL players can be considered guaranteed Hall of Famers. And even fewer can be considered first-ballot Hall of Famers. Among them is former Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

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After playing 17 seasons with the Cardinals, Fitzgerald’s contract was not renewed by the franchise ahead of the 2021 season. And now a free agent, sources report that the wide receiver may have played his last snap in the league.

Mike Sando of the Athletic recently reported that multiple NFL executives believe that the longtime Cardinals player will eventually retire before the start of the new season.

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“While Larry Fitzgerald remains unsigned and has not announced his intentions for 2021, execs anticipate he’ll retire rather than rejoin a receiving corps now headlined by DeAndre Hopkins,” said Sando.

No room in Arizona for Larry Fitzgerald?

Larry Fitzgerald has been an icon for the franchise. The 11-time Pro Bowler has amassed close to 17,500 receiving yards and 121 touchdowns over the course of his career thus far.

But with 2020 being a career-low in terms of receptions, yards, and touchdowns, the cut was one many expected.

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The Arizona Cardinals franchise after all is rebuilding and moving towards a new direction. With DeAndre Hopkins now WR1, he primarily received support from fellow wide receiver Christian Kirk.

The signing of former Bengals WR A.J Green in free agency further put Fitzgerald’s future in jeopardy. With youngster Andy Isabella too coming through, Fitzgerald’s odds of making the Cardinals roster for 2021 look slim.

September 13, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) runs in front of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) against San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

One NFL executive though pointed out that more than missing Larry Fitzgerald on the field, the side is likely to miss his leadership and experience in the locker room and training grounds.

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“It’s going to be an interesting transition for that team from an accountability standpoint as Larry steps aside. Hopkins decides what he wants to do practice-wise, and if Larry had any influence there, that is gone,” the executive said.

With the Cardinals looking more and more unlikely to retain Larry Fitzgerald, do you believe your team could benefit from signing a WR of his caliber?

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Shivayan Roy

555 articles

Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

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