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Larry Fitzgerald is officially a free agent, for the first time

Mike Florio and Chris Simms analyze how J.J. Watt landing a deal with the Arizona Cardinals could suggest that the team is preparing for WR Larry Fitzgerald to retire.

The new league year has begun, and one of the greatest receivers of all time can be signed by anyone.

Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald is a free agent, for the first time in his career.

Fitzgerald has not disclosed his plans for 2021. Arizona’s agreement with receiver A.J. Green strongly suggests that Fitzgerald won’t be back.

With DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, and Green on the roster, the fourth guy on the depth chart (Green or Fitzgerald) would take the place of a younger player who typically would contribute on special teams. Also, with Green making $8 million and Hopkins at the top of the market, it could be difficult making a significant financial investment in a fourth receiver.

The immediate reaction around the league to the Green signing is that Fitzgerald isn’t coming back, and the Cardinals know it. The question then becomes whether he’d join another team.

He never has seemed like a guy who would play for a team other than the Cardinals. During the 2020 season, however, he said he’d retire if the Cardinals win the Super Bowl. Maybe Fitzgerald will make a one-and-done run with another team that is much closer to true Super Bowl contender status, like the Chiefs or the Buccaneers (if Antonio Brown isn’t back).