Arizona Cardinals Are Wasting Larry Fitzgerald’s Prime

By Nick Mamary
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It has become rare to see superstars spend their career with one team. The Arizona Cardinals believe they have one of these gems in All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona has struggled throughout its history, only making the Playoffs six times since 1970. Given their failure to establish consistent success there is an added importance in providing hope to Fitzgerald.

Of course he has basically agreed to stay in the desert until 2019 (when he will be 36), signing an eight year deal prior to the 2012 season. Knowing that they have one of the NFL‘s best receivers, one would think the Cardinals would want to surround him with an elite quarterback. For most of the Fitzgerald era, however there has been anything but. His rookie year in 2004 was played with Josh McCown starting 13 games, as the team finished 6-10.

Kurt Warner was acquired from the New York Giants the following season. Warner experienced a resurgence. The team though wanted to go in a different direction as they drafted Matt Leinart. Leinart lacked arm strength and turned out to disappoint. Warner regained his starting spot in 2007 and led Arizona to a Super Bowl appearance the next year. Since his retirement after 2010, the Cardinals have missed out on attempts like the Kevin Kolb deal that cost a second round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, and also dynamic cornerback Dominique Rodgers-CromartieRyan Lindley, who makes Kolb look like Joe Montana, is clearly not the answer. Brian Hoyer could have potential, but just sitting behind Tom Brady doesn’t mean automatic success. Now in a weak QB class for both draft and free agency, a star will be hard to come by. Something has to happen soon though or Fitzgerald could become restless.

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