January 23, 2019 / 4:26 PM / 5 months ago

Cardinals wide receiver Fitzgerald to return in 2019

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald plans to play in 2019.

FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) returns to the locker room following a 27-24 loss against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Fitzgerald signed a one-year deal with the team, ending speculation about his status under his third head coach in as many seasons.

“No player has meant more to this franchise or this community than Larry Fitzgerald,” team president Michael Bidwill said. “In my discussions with him, it was clear that he is as driven and passionate as ever. We are thrilled he’ll be back for 2019.”

Fitzgerald committed to playing the 2018 season last February, but it turned out to be a tough year in Arizona. The Cardinals finished the season with an NFL-worst 3-13 record, and head coach Steve Wilks was fired.

New head coach Kliff Kingsbury said he hoped Fitzgerald, 35, would return.

“I’ll leave it to these guys who write the checks,” Kingsbury told reporters during his introductory press conference. “Like I said, what a great role model, what a great leader to have on your team, and I would be honored and love to work with him. He’s a guy that I’ve admired from afar for a long time, and I think we all hope that he’ll be back.”

The Cardinals took Fitzgerald with the No. 3 overall selection of the 2004 NFL Draft, and he’s put together a Hall of Fame career. An 11-time Pro Bowl selection, he is first among active players in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

On the career list, he ranks second behind Jerry Rice for yards and is third, trailing Rice and Tony Gonzalez, in receptions. He needs 23 catches to pass Gonzalez on the list.

In 2018, he appeared in all 16 games and caught 69 passes for 734 yards and six touchdowns.

Fitzgerald turns 36 in August.

—Field Level Media

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