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Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald’s $11 million salary now fully guaranteed

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

Larry Fitzgerald now has 11 million guaranteed reasons to stave off retirement and return to the Arizona Cardinals for the 2018 season.

This is by no means a deadline for Fitzgerald as he weighs hanging up his cleats, but Kent Somers of AZCentral Sports pointed out that the Pittsburgh product’s $11 million salary for 2018 became full guaranteed on Friday, if he plays.

Fitzgerald knew this was coming, unless the Cardinals made the incredibly unlikely decision to cut the future Hall of Fame wide receiver prior to Friday. So, as Somers remarks, it shouldn’t have any impact on his retirement decision.

But $11 million is hard to walk away from, especially given that Fitzgerald is still performing at an incredibly high level as his career winds down to a close. In 2017, he surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the third straight season and the ninth time in his career, compiling 109 receptions for 1,156 yards and six touchdowns. For the third straight season, he played in all 16 games for the Cardinals.

Fitzgerald, who currently ranks third all-time with 15,545 receiving yards, needs just 390 yards to pass Terrell Owens for second on the all-time receiving list behind Jerry Rice. Given his proficiency at age-34 in 2017, that should be a piece of cake.

Leading up the Super Bowl, Fitzgerald said he will make a decision over the next week or two, meaning it could come at any time now. Former teammate Kurt Warner said that the receiver is currently leaning toward returning, and that becomes even more likely if Arizona is successful in signing Kirk Cousins, who Fitzgerald made a pitch to last week.