TEMPE, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald has signed a contract to return to the Arizona Cardinals for a 15th season, if he decides to play at all.
The one-year extension announced Friday with arguably the most popular player in Cardinals franchise history does not mean Fitzgerald will play football next season. Only that if he does, it will be with the only team he has known since he entered the league.
“Everybody’s happy for him,” coach Bruce Arians said after Friday’s practice, “and hope he comes back and catches 100 more.”
Fitzgerald, among the NFL career leaders in virtually all receiving statistics, has not said whether he intends to play after this season.
“He’s been the face of this organization for so long,” Arians said, “and what he’s done off the field and on the field, you’d hate to see those type of guys retire.”
Fitzgerald, who was not in the locker room when reporters where there Friday, remains one of the most prolific receivers in the NFL at age 34. He leads the NFC, and is second in the NFL, in receptions with 60. Fitzgerald led the NFL with 107 last season.
Last week against Seattle, Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 113 yards. He became just the sixth NFL player to reach 15,000 yards receiving for his career.
He has been selected for 10 Pro Bowls. He and Jerry Rice are the only wide receivers to be chosen at least 10 times. Rice had 13 selections.
The Cardinals drafted Fitzgerald third overall in 2004 out of Pittsburgh.
He has caught a pass in 204 consecutive games, the third-longest such streak in NFL history. A catch against Houston on Sunday would tie him with Tony Gonzalez for the second-longest reception streak.