NFL Trade Rumors: Larry Fitzgerald Restructures Contract for New England Patriots

Larry Fitzgerald nfl trade rumors patriots

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest NFL news after the Super Bowl was Larry Fitzgerald restructuring his massive contract in what initially seems like an effort to give the Arizona Cardinals more salary cap space with which to work in 2014. However, the latest batch of NFL trade rumors suggest this was a move by both the Cardinals and Fitzgerald to prepare for a possible trade with the New England Patriots.

The biggest offseason buzz thus far has been the “unlikely scenario” of Fitzgerald being traded to the Patriots to become Tom Brady’s new best friend. However, his lucrative contract and New England’s lack of salary cap space seem to be standing in the way…until now.

Details of the restructure haven’t been released, but you can bet that Fitzgerald’s previous cap number of $18 million will be lowered by a large margin, likely converted into a signing bonus that will be prorated over the life of the deal. Entering the 2014 offseason, the Patriots have just under $8 million in salary cap space with which to work for the upcoming season.

One can only assume that a deal to acquire Fitzgerald would include Danny Amendola either being sent to Arizona or cut altogether. The former would rid the Patriots of his $4.575 million cap number for 2014 and that, plus an estimated drop of $8 million in Fitzgerald’s cap number, would allow the deal to take place while leaving the team with nearly $3 million in cap space for the remainder of the offseason. In addition, the Patriots would undoubtedly include a lot more than just Amendola in a trade for a player of Fitzgerald’s caliber and that money could go toward other free agent moves and/or signing 2014 NFL Draft picks.

This is all just speculation at this point, but all the pieces fit together perfectly: Fitzgerald’s restructured deal will create just enough room for him to be shipped to New England this offseason. From a personnel standpoint, it makes perfect sense as the Patriots already have a solid underneath receiver in Julian Edelman, who is a free agent but can likely be re-signed without breaking the bank and who would only become more effective with a big, proven, healthy target like Fitzgerald with which to pair. Even if Edelman can’t be kept, Fitzgerald’s presence would immediately increase the effectiveness of the Patriots’ other young receivers like Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie. In addition, New England could get rid of Amendola, other players and their cap numbers without penalty.

The kicker for the Patriots would be Fitzgerald’s contract and cap numbers in 2015 and beyond, but if New England wins the Super Bowl next year, it won’t really matter. One ring would make the entire deal (and future headache) worth it and you better believe Bill Belichick could find a way to make it happen.

Jeric Griffin is the General Manager for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

Related:

Larry Fitzgerald Proves He’s About Team First, Agrees to Restructured Contract

New England Patriots Should Stay Away From Larry Fitzgerald

New England Patriots Must Trade for Larry Fitzgerald


Around the Web

  • Michael LeDuc

    Interesting. However, Edelman is a free agent, so If the the Pats acquire Fitzgerald, Edelman will probably not be back, depending on the market, thus New England would have to keep Amendola.

  • Brandon Fitzpatrick

    i mean austin collie is 28 only 2 years younger than Fitzgerald doubt he would really have any impact on him

  • longtail

    Gosh, I can’t see any holes in this reasoning.

  • 123Star

    Pats give almost same money to Fitz as was going to Hernadez 4 for 40 mil.
    Pats trade for experience that could help younger receivers.

  • chrisfromthadtothaphx

    So looks like arizona’s stock goes down.. If this trade happens.. Which is good news for Seattle..

    This cant be for the benefit of the cardinals because theirs no way in hell they should even think about giving Patrick Peterson a blank check this off-season.. Wrong move.. He did not have a good year..

    This draft is going to be deep even on the defensive side of the ball (Michigan State and Florida State has 2 or 3 Richard Shermans/Cam Chancellors).. Re-signing Dansby makes perfect sense.. But I would stay far away from a surplus deal for Patrick Peterson at this point.

  • Scizandor

    All of those rumors were started and spread by idiots, and this article was written by somebody with no understanding of the NFL salary cap. It makes absolutely no sense to restructure a player and then trade him. Given the dead money that would accelerate to this year’s cap, the Cards’ cap would be absolutely demolished by any such trade.

  • Mike Smith

    I am sure the Cards want to take $20M in dead money.When before resturcture was only $10m