In what is becoming tradition for the NFL, Larry Fitzgerald had his annual “will he or won’t he” period and it ended with him coming back for 2019. Once set to be a free agent, Fitzgerald has signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals to return. There’s no word on if this will be his last season.
Fitzgerald has given an impression of being unable to age. For 2018, he racked up 734 yards, a bit of a down-year since he had over 1,000 yards in the three seasons before 2018, but still solid numbers. It’s not the first wide receiver to play productively into their mid-30s. I mean, Jerry Rice played into his 40s.
Speaking of Rice, if there’s anyone who has a shot at breaking some of the GOAT’s records, Fitzgerald has a chance. He just has to play for another five years and do what’s listed below:
With Larry Fitzgerald returning for his 16th NFL season I saw some talk about him chasing Jerry Rice's records. If Fitz were to play another 5 seasons he would have to avg 1323 recYDs and 16.2 recTDs a season over those years to hit Rice's numbers.#Cardinals #49ers #HOF pic.twitter.com/nsXkUGTJr6— Pete Lawrence (@_PeteLaw) January 28, 2019
The last time Fitzgerald went above 1,323 yards? 2011 when he got 1,411 yards. Seven years ago. That’s ok, if it’s Fitzgerald, I don’t mind the ritual every year. It’s not like he’s bringing attention to if he’ll retire every year or not.
Fitzgerald had under 800 yards in 2018. How many times did that happen to Rice? Twice, once in an injury shortened season and once in his final season at age 42.
All joking aside, there’s not a doubt in my mind someone will break one or two of those records set by Rice one day. Records are made to be broken and to see someone surpass the GOAT would be something to witness as a football fan. If anyone can get as many records as Rice did in one career (some are broken, but across a landscape of different players) that says something. Even if all of Rice’s records get broken, one man held all of those at one point. And if one man breaks several himself? Well that’s simply a legitimate freak.
But if Fitzgerald really is going after the record books—and there has been no indication he even cares—I wish him luck.