Larry Fitzgerald is unwilling to sit at home and better understand his son. Today, the Arizona Cardinals announced that the wide receiver will return for another season, its 16th with the team.
Fitzgerald is the best player in franchise history. He holds the team records for receiving yards, catches and touchdowns, and none of these categories is particularly close. If there was something that a broader receiver in the field could reasonably do, Fitzgerald has done it in the last decade and a half. Damn, he even did things that recipients do not do, such as when he threw his first professional-fit touchdown pass in December:
All these catches, yards and TDs are all the more impressive as many terrible quarterbacks of the Cardinals have thrown balls to Fitzgerald. Yes, he played with Kurt Warner and the last pass-on version of Carson Palmer, but there were so many other guys who were definitely not one of them.
Fitzgerald's first quarterback in 2004 was Josh McCown. Miraculously, both players are still in the league, though one is the Hall of Famer and the other is Josh McCown. Five seasons later, Brian St. Pierre, who spun for only 185 yards in a tripartite career spanning eight seasons, threw his first and only career touchdown pass, which Fitzgerald had caught. In 2012, Brian Hoyer, the Patriots-Castoff, paused as he held a clipboard behind Tom Brady to head to Arizona. He threw two interceptions in nearly two full games and was then released.
Here are a few other guys who had the privilege of throwing Fitzgerald: Shaun King, John Navarre, Matt Leinart, Tim Rattay, Max Hall, John Skelton, Rich Bartel, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley (oh God), Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert, Sam Bradford and most recently Josh Rosen. There was also Derek Anderson, who was so bad that he was replaced by Hall, who was also bad.
In his 15 seasons, Fitzgerald has caught passes from 19 different QBs. There were perhaps five of those seasons in which the Cardinals had no abyss beyond the center. The fact that he made a Hall of Fame career and survived one of the worst NFL games is testament to his tremendous talent.
If all goes according to plan, Fitzgerald will get passes of roses and get roses only this year; The former UCLA product fought in his rookie campaign, but had enough talent to be the third-best QB of Fitzgerald's career at no cost. If he falter, do not be afraid: forever backup Mike Glennon could be there to save the day. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury also performed well in an emergency.