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Larry Fitzgerald, Patriots

NFL

Why Larry Fitzgerald could make a lot of sense for the Patriots in free agency

Larry Fitzgerald has been one of the top wide receivers in the NFL for quite some time, but he is entering the final stages of his career and could end up retiring after this season. The Arizona Cardinals have had the luxury of having the veteran star on their roster for his entire career thus far, but that could change this offseason.

Whether Fitzgerald decides that he wants to play for a Super Bowl contender or the Cardinals decide to go a younger direction, there is a possibility that Fitz could end up switching teams.

It may not seem terribly likely that he suits up for another team, but there is a chance. If he does end up walking from Arizona and playing elsewhere, one team in particular makes sense. That team would be the New England Patriots, who are famous for picking up veterans and giving them a year or two to try and win a championship.

At 36 years old, the days of Fitzgerald dominating defenses has come and gone. He is no longer capable of putting up massive production, but he is still capable of producing solid all-around numbers.

On the season so far with the Cardinals in 14 games, Fitzgerald has caught 67 passes for 711 yards and three touchdowns. That has been great for rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, who has utilized Fitzgerald as a security blanket throughout his first NFL season.

Kliff Kingsbury, the Cardinals’ first-year head coach, has been very vocal about his desire to bring Fitzgerald back for another season. Arizona would like to have his veteran presence in the locker room and impact on Murray for at least one more year. However, the front office may not feel the same way and Fitzgerald might have other ideas as well.

New England has been in major need of help at the wide receiver position this year. They thought they had that help in Antonio Brown, but were forced to release him. Mohamed Sanu was acquired ahead of the NFL trade deadline, but he has failed to have any kind of major impact for the Patriots.

Julian Edelman is the only consistent threat for Tom Brady to work with. Fitzgerald may not be what he once was, but given a season or two in New England, his numbers might just take a bit of a jump.

Expect to hear quite a few rumors surrounding Larry Fitzgerald this offseason. New England may not have interest in him, but he is exactly the kind of player that Bill Belichick likes to target in free agency.