Patriots could make a run at Larry Fitzgerald this offseason
The speculation of Fitzgerald's future in Arizona has died down since October, but with the offseason right around the corner, it's about time for the rumors to ramp back up. The newest development in the Fitzgerald situation comes from CSN New England, who have suggested that the New England Patriots could make a run at the former All-Pro receiver.
"Individual just told me Pats were interested in dealing for Larry Fitzgerald last offseason," tweeted Tom Curran on Tuesday. "And this person I believe without reservation."
If Curran's source is correct, the Cardinals could very well be interested in talking to the Patriots about a potential deal. Fitzgerald is set to count $18 million against the cap in 2014, and he is reportedly unwilling to take a pay cut with the Cardinals (it is unknown if he would be willing to take a pay cut if traded to a different team). Fitzgerald could attempt to stand his ground and refuse to take any less money, which would put the Cardinals in a tough situation. Having declined over the past few years, Fitzgerald is not quite worth that kind of money anymore, and the Cardinals would be better served investing in other areas, such as the offensive line.
Second-year receiver Michael Floyd really came on this year, outgaining Fitzgerald in receiving yards, so the Cardinals may feel comfortable moving forward with Floyd as their No. 1 receiver.
The Patriots and Fitzgerald make sense as a fit for several reasons. First of all, quarterback Tom Brady could use a reliable, experienced receiver to throw to. The Patriots' receiving core is loaded with youngsters and fragile pass catchers. Julian Edelman may be the most reliable receiver on the team, but he is an impending free agent.
Fitzgerald would also be a great fit in the Patriots' locker room. He is a smart guy who never gets into trouble, always says the right things, and puts the team first. The Patriots have been known to make some bold moves during the Bill Belichick era, so it would not be all that surprising to see them pursue Fitzgerald.
The Patriots landing Fitzgerald is still a long shot, but the reports are certainly worth noting. A change of scenery could be great for Fitzgerald, who has posted some of the worst numbers of his career over the past two years. Set to turn 31 years old over the summer, perhaps his best days are simply behind him, but playing for Belichick and catching passes from Brady could very well turn Fitzgerald back into a thousand-yard receiver.