birdz4i Posted August 21, 2011 Share Posted August 21, 2011 My linkThe Arizona Cardinals have their man.The team announced Saturday evening that it reached terms with star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on an eight-year extension. NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported the deal is worth $120 million with roughly $47 million guaranteed, according to league sources.Fitzgerald and team president Michael Bidwill appeared at a hastily called news conference Saturday night to announce the agreement.Fitzgerald insisted he "hates this part of sports," but he certainly has made a boatload of money. This is the third major contract he has signed, and he doesn't turn 28 until Aug. 31."Growing up, since I was seven years old, this has been the game I love and something I have been so passionate about," Fitzgerald said, "and to have to talk about it on the business side is a little bit uncomfortable. But I am really happy to put it behind us and it wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the Bidwill family's hard work in making this thing happen."The Cardinals had said they wanted Fitzgerald's new contract wrapped up by the start of the regular season, and they made it with two weeks to spare.Fitzgerald had one year and $7 million left on his current deal, according to La Canfora. Over the final season of his current contract and the first four years of his new deal, the wide receiver will average $17 million per season, according to a league source.Bidwill, son of the team's owner Bill Bidwill, said the Cardinals' intent is to have Fitzgerald retire as a Cardinal "but not anytime soon."Fitzgerald, the third overall park in the 2004 draft at the age of 19, spoke of the opportunity to spend his entire career with one team."It is an honor," he said. "I am so fortunate. Not many players have that opportunity but Michael has allowed me that opportunity and I just want to repay him with great effort and winning. That is what is important."The 6-foot-3, 218-pound receiver has become the franchise's career leader in receptions with 613 and needs just 294 yards to surpass Roy Green for career yards receiving. In Arizona's surprise run to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season, Fitzgerald shattered most of the NFL playoff receiving records.Fitzgerald has topped 1,000 yards receiving in five of his seven NFL seasons, including the last four. He caught 90 passes for 1,137 yards last season even though Arizona had one of the worst offenses in the league while struggling to a 5-11 record, in large part because of poor quarterback play in the wake of the retirement of Kurt Warner.While Fitzgerald said he never insisted the team make a big move for a quarterback -- "I am not anyone to hold a hammer over anyone's head" -- the Cardinals traded for Kevin Kolb from the Philadelphia Eagles, then signed him to a five-year, $63 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed. Fitzgerald, who organized team workouts during the lockout, had a practice session with Kolb long before the trade.Fitzgerald will be under contract to the Cardinals through the 2018 season. It is not known whether the deal contains the kind of terms that gave him huge leverage over the team under its current deal - specifically a ban on making him a franchise player and a no-trade clause.The contract could have widespread ramifications around the NFL, particularly in the case of running back Chris Johnson, who is holding out for a new deal with the Tennessee Titans.Johnson tweeted "congratulations to LarryFitzgerald god is good" and Fitzgerald responded with "thanks CJ you up next my guy."The Associated Press contributed to this report. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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