Larry Fitzgerald’s enduring ending spot is likely to be second place. He is second to Jerry Rice in quite a few receiving data. He misplaced in a Tremendous Bowl. He completed second in Heisman Trophy balloting.
The factor is, these are all phenomenal issues to complete second place in. Now in his 17th season with the Cardinals, Fitzgerald hasn’t performed in essentially the most marquee video games. However once you begin evaluating his total accomplishments to each different huge receiver to play within the NFL, ever, it turns into clear in a short time: Fitzgerald is among the greatest.
Fitzgerald seemingly will not conclude his profession with any main highlights, though having Kyler Murray as his quarterback provides him an opportunity to exit in model. That is OK, although, as a result of Fitzgerald has already achieved lots.
MORE: Jerry Rice believes Larry Fitzgerald might move him on receptions record
How outdated is Larry Fitzgerald?
Fitzgerald was born on Aug. 31, 1983, making him 37 years outdated. He was taken third total all the best way again within the 2004 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh, two picks behind Eli Manning and one forward of Philip Rivers. That got here after Fitzgerald completed second within the 2003 Heisman Trophy voting to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White.
In 2019, Fitzgerald caught 75 passes. That ranks fifth all-time amongst receivers 36 or older, behind one Tim Brown season and three separate Rice seasons. He is been one of many league’s greatest route runners for greater than a decade and a half, and his decline in total athleticism and pace hasn’t stopped him from having among the greatest fingers in soccer.
Simply watch this spotlight reel of Fitzgerald within the 2019 season opener. Most 36-year olds on the planet aren’t doing what Fitzgerald was doing final season.
Will Larry Fitzgerald make the Corridor of Fame?
It is a quick, straightforward reply: Sure.
Fitzgerald has the second-most receptions in NFL historical past, 1,396 getting into 2020 Week 6. That is behind solely Rice (1,549). The six gamers within the top-eight of that record who’re already retired are within the Corridor of Fame. Fitzgerald can be second all-time in receiving yards, with greater than 17,000 — though he is greater than 5,000 yards behind Rice. The opposite six gamers within the top-seven on that record (apart from Fitzgerald) are all within the Corridor of Fame. Fitzgerald can be sixth all-time in receiving touchdowns (120), behind 5 Corridor of Famers: Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison.
Spending his entire profession with the Cardinals can solely assist Fitzgerald’s trigger from a branding perspective. He is gone to 11 Professional Bowls and even gained the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Yr award. It is seemingly 2020 would be the first actually underwhelming 12 months of his profession, and that is as a result of he is ceding many of the high duties to the brand new receiver on the town with dreadlocks, DeAndre Hopkins.
Fitzgerald not often missed video games — in 13 of his 16 accomplished seasons, he performed all 16 video games, and he by no means performed fewer than 13 in a season. In yearly of his profession previous to 2020, he noticed greater than 100 targets, at all times Arizona’s first or second choice.
The Cardinals did not at all times have nice groups with Fitzgerald, however he even confirmed up when it counted within the playoffs. Following the 2008 season, when Arizona made a run to the Tremendous Bowl earlier than shedding to Pittsburgh, Fitzgerald was absurd. He caught six passes for 101 yards and a rating to open the postseason. Then he went for eight catches, 166 yards and one other landing. Within the convention championship, he caught 9 for 152 and three touchdowns. Then within the Tremendous Bowl, he had seven catches for for 127 yards and two TDs.
That Tremendous Bowl included Fitzgerald’s well-known 64-yard landing from Kurt Warner, the place Fitzgerald may very well be seen checking the video board in entrance of him to make sure he wasn’t caught. His journey to Canton and the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame will not be practically as hectic — they’ll begin carving Fitzgerald’s bust proper now.