Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald broke the bank a few days ago by signing an absurdly large contract for 8 years and $120 million, effectively making him a Cardinal for life. Couldnt have happened to a better guy, and its really good to see a team truly make an investment who has been the heart and soul of this franchise. Model citizen, leader on and off the field, spectacular character.
That being said, I wonder if the front office of the Cardinals were a little to trigger happy with this deal. 50 million dollars guaranteed for a receiver? Wow, son. We could very well be looking at the beginning of the end.
Whats my beef exactly? Its not necessarily the person who received the contract, it’s the precedent it will set for the position he plays. Yes, Larry is an All-Pro wideout, and he is a 90 catch, 1100 guy. He doesnt make any noise off the field, but his presence is always felt on it. You dont see him take plays off, even in the most futile of situations. You cant ask for much more in a player. But to give a player who’s position is so reliant on the success of another? Thats absurd. The only positions that truly deserve a $100 million dollar contracts are left tackles (or right tackles if the quarterback is left-handed) and quarterbacks. Period. Locking up 15 million bucks a year in a wide receiver is completely foolish, especially when your team has significant holes to fill in other places (Defensive End, starting LBs who each have 10+ seasons under their belt,).
And these stats. You cant ask much more from a receiver, but I have the slightest of feelings that he is a glorified TJ Houshmandzadeh. Peep TJ stats from 2006-2007. Lets take this even further, seeing as that the NFL is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ type league.
Given the numbers accrued over the past two years, which receiver would YOU choose from if you had a choice?
WR #1: 29 games, 187 receptions, 2785 yards, 17 TDs
WR #2: 29 games, 209 receptions, 2196 yards, 11 TDs
WR #3: 32 games, 187 receptions, 2229 yards, 19 TDs
WR #4: 29 games, 144 receptions, 2104 yards, 17 TDs
*These are four elite receivers in the league, and these are their actual stats*
Made your decision? Good. If you ask me, you could make a case for any of these numbers. The problem is, none of these numbers equal $50 million dollars guaranteed. NONE. This is a classic case of a team going too gaga over their best player. We have seen other leagues overpay their stars and witnessed the fallout from negotiations of other players with comparable statistics. Not that the Cardinals should worry about any other teams and their players, but we did just come off the heels of a lockout, and I think all 32 franchises should be a little more financially accountable to one another, at least for the league’s sake. That being said, unless you’re a stats geek, you really couldnt pick out Fitzgerald’s stats. Im not giving that much money to someone who cant pass a statistical eye test.
Secondly, as my Mancaver Scoopbald stated in his post on “The Real McCoy”, posting big numbers in the NFC West is like winning a footrace against a quadriplegic. This is to lessen Larry’s effect on the game, it’s just mentioning the cupcakes he has the opportunity to face 6 times a season. Name a defensive back in the NFC West that isnt on the Cardinals. Dont worry, I’ll wait.
Im not seeing how this much of an investment in a wide receiver makes any sense, especially when your quarterback is still unproven. Kevin Kolb is the football equivalent of a really pretty girl who is a complete prude. Looks good, has a great upside, and draws interest from all the boys in the yard. But when it comes down to the nitty gritty, she’s not about that life. Kolb has absolutely nothing impressive on his resume. He got his job taken by a man who spent the previous two years in prison. This is the quarterback thats supposed to get the ball to your $100 million dollar man? Hmmmm. Okay.
I hope Larry can continue being consistently productive, but im unsure if he. or any wideout for that matter, should ever see bucks that big.