The Arizona Cardinals are one of the NFL's early season surprises at 4-4. But it's because of a ferocious defense, and not an uneven passing game.
Even Larry Fitzgerald has struggled to produce and stay healthy. He caught four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Atlanta Falcons, but he was forced to answer questions after the game about trade rumors.
"I don't know," Fitzgerald said, via The Arizona Republic, when asked if the trade reports were out of line. "I come to work every day and just focus on how I can help the Arizona Cardinals and help my team win. If they decide to move me, that happens. I have no control over any of that.
"I just focus on what I can do to improve and help my team."
That's a smart non-answer. And it suggests Fitzgerald wasn't exactly shocked by reports suggesting he could be on the block come 2014. Perhaps he wouldn't mind getting a chance to win a Super Bowl elsewhere. But the Cardinals insist they haven't considered a move.
"I have not had one conversation regarding a trade with Larry Fitzgerald," general manager Steve Keim told 620 AM in Arizona. "We have every intent to have Larry Fitzgerald retire as a Cardinal. Period."
Trading Fitzgerald, even in the offseason, sounds unlikely. The Cardinals would save $8 million against the cap by dealing Fitzgerald next, but they also would have $10 million on the cap for a player who's no longer there. (And lose their best offensive player in process.)
The timing of the report does make us wonder who exactly is interested in a Fitzgerald trade or new contract. He's due $18 million next season, and some sort of negotiation should be coming. Fitzgerald's agents already could have started the process.