Larry Fitzgerald was once one of the best (if not the best) wide receivers in the NFL. For seasons upon seasons, Fitzgerald had been consistent in putting up numbers that were fitting of a No. 1 wide receiver. But that is not today, and Nick Caserio would be wise to avoid bringing Fitzgerald to the New England Patriots.
First and foremost, Fitzgerald is an expensive player. He is currently going into the fourth season of a seven-year, $113 million contract that would make him count $18 million against the cap in 2014. That includes a non-guaranteed $12.75 million base salary.
This would all be worth it if Fitzgerald was still a No. 1 wide receiver. The problem is that Fitzgerald is not a No. 1 receiver anymore. He played second fiddle to Michael Floyd this past season as Floyd had more receiving yards than the veteran (1,041 for Floyd, 954 for Fitzgerald) despite having fewer receptions (82 for Fitzgerald, 65 for Floyd).
So now we are talking about trading for a wide receiver who has put up No. 2 wide receiver stats in his past two seasons. Considering the amount of money that Caserio would have to pay Fitzgerald and the draft pick(s) that it would take to secure a big name like that, it would be best if the Patriots general manager passed.
Besides, Caserio already has a wide receiver with that kind of potential on the roster by the name of Aaron Dobson. In fact, some scouts had even compared Dobson to Fitzgerald when he was coming out of college. It is a much safer risk for Caserio to take a gamble on a younger, cheaper wide receiver than an older, more expensive one.
Even though a trade for Fitzgerald might grab headlines, this is one that is not worth pursuing for Caserio. The veteran wide receiver will soon be 31, is very expensive and is coming off of two mediocre seasons. Sometimes the best trades are the trades that you never make.