NFL Football

Fitzgerald to return for 15th season with Cards

TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has decided to continue his Hall of Fame-worthy career and play his 15th season in 2018.

New Cardinals coach Steve Wilks announced Fitzgerald’s intentions during an interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Thursday morning.

Fitzgerald’s future has been the topic of speculation since last offseason, when he didn’t outright address whether 2017 would be his final year in the league. The questions concerning Fitzgerald’s future ramped up in the days following the Cardinals’ 8-8 season, when former coach Bruce Arians retired on Jan. 1 and quarterback Carson Palmer also retired a day later.

Teammate Tyrann Mathieu and Senator John McCain were among those who tweeted their reactions Thursday.

Fitzgerald, who will turn 35 on Aug. 31, will enter the season with a chance to reach second on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards and receptions lists.

He finished 2017 third on both career lists with 15,545 yards and 1,234 receptions. He needs 390 yards to pass Terrell Owens on the receiving yards list and 92 catches to pass Tony Gonzalez on the receptions list.

Fitzgerald had 109 catches for 1,156 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, becoming the oldest player in NFL history to have more than 100 catches and 1,000 yards in the same season. It was his third straight season of 100 and 1,000.

He was named to his 11th Pro Bowl this year.

On NFL Network’s Super Bowl pregame show, Fitzgerald was asked whether he was ready to play for Wilks, who will be his fourth head coach.

“I’m excited about what the future holds,” Fitzgerald said. “Obviously there’s some things that need to happen in terms of personnel, draft and things like that to help our team improve, but I’m confident that [general manager] Steve Keim and his group are going to do a good job with that.”

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