Tempe, Ariz. The Arizona Cardinals and Larry Fitzgerald have agreed to an eight-year deal that could pay the star receiver as much as $120 million, making it one of the richest deals in the NFL.
Fitzgerald and team president Michael Bidwill appeared at a hastily called news conference Saturday night to announce the agreement.
Fitzgerald insisted he “hates this part of sports,” but he certainly has made a boatload of money. This is the third major contract he has signed, and he doesn’t turn 28 until Aug. 31.
“Growing up, since I was 7 years old, this has been the game I love and something I have been so passionate about,” Fitzgerald said, “and to have to talk about it on the business side is a little bit uncomfortable. But I am really happy to put it behind us and it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for the Bidwill family’s hard work in making this thing happen.”
The Cardinals had said they wanted Fitzgerald’s new contract wrapped up by the start of the regular season, and they made it with two weeks to spare.
Bidwill, son of the team’s owner Bill Bidwill, said the Cardinals’ intent is to have Fitzgerald retire as a Cardinal “but not anytime soon.”
Fitzgerald, the third overall park in the 2004 draft at the age of 19, spoke of the opportunity to spend his entire career with one team.
“It is an honor,” he said. “I am so fortunate. Not many players have that opportunity but Michael has allowed me that opportunity and I just want to repay him with great effort and winning. That is what is important.”