Larry Fitzgerald is Only a Wide Receiver
August 21, 2011 27 Comments
Chris Johnson is probably still a little jealous right about now. While he sits at home, Larry Fitzgerald is enjoying his first day with a brand spanking new 8 year, $120 million contract. With this new deal, the Arizona Cardinals have told Larry Fitzgerald that he is not only one of the best receivers in football but one of the very best that the game has to offer.
This is stupid.
It’s not stupid to say that Larry Fitzgerald is the best receiver in football nor is it stupid to say that he is one of the very best that the game has to offer.
However, it is stupid to give a receiver (a rumoured) $50 million in guaranteed money. It looks like Homer Simpson is back to controlling professional sports franchises again. At least, I would hope so.
The Arizona Cardinals ownership seems determined to relive the winning magic that they experienced not too long ago. Maybe some Cardinals fans can take comfort in the fact that ownership was willing to overpay for the two cornerstone pieces of the franchises in Kevin Kolb and Larry Fitzgerald.
Not me. Luckily, I’m not a Cardinals fan.
It’s going to take a lot to justify giving a wide receiver, of all positions, $50 million in guaranteed money. To the best of my knowledge, this isn’t Madden football and the Cardinals do not possess the power to simply turn the salary cap mode off. This isn’t Major League Baseball. In a desperate attempt to prove that they care, the Bidwell family is potentially hampering their organization for years to come.
$120 million for a player who touches the ball 10 times on a good day is a troublesome thought. The Cardinals already overpaid when they addressed the most important position in football. For the most part, I’m fine with that. In all likelihood, John Skelton isn’t your guy.
A wide receiver can only do so much though. Yes, a great receiver can be a game-breaker but in no way will he ever be a $120 million game-breaker.
An inability to manoeuvre with any sort of flexibility under the cap is always an issue with these contracts but with a franchise quarterback like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning that kind of money is certainly justifiable.
Even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady took pay cuts to ensure that they gave their team some financial flexibility.
Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t willing to take a pay cut and his team is going to suffer for it. He may not act like a diva but his ego is obviously similar to a diva. Personally, I think it’s selfish to sign a contract of that magnitude but that’s a story for another day.
Related: Who is Peyton Manning?
No one forced the Arizona Cardinals to pay Fitzgerald that much. Either way, they should have backed out instead. His contract could have been someone else’s problem next year. That money should have been spent better.
A great receiver can push a good team over the edge. A great receiver cannot make a bad team a good team. What do we think of Steve Smith’s $10.9 million per year contract with the Carolina Panthers?
Heck, that’s nothing.
Sure, Larry Fitzgerald is one of the most beloved players in the history of the franchise but that shouldn’t get in the way of running a business. Not to this degree. The last thing any organization needs is tying up a ridiculous amount of money in a person that doesn’t take every snap.
Alone, Larry Fitzgerald cannot turn his Arizona Cardinals into a winner. I mean, he is only a wide receiver.
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