Arians looks 'forward to having (Fitzgerald) next year'


The main question swirling around the Arizona Cardinals early in their offseason is about the future of receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

On Sunday, Bruce Arians was asked how the team's face of the franchise fits into the plans.

"He's right where he's always been," the coach said, per the team's official website. "I don't control money and caps and all that crap. I just coach the heck out of him and he's a great kid. I look forward to having him next year."

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Saturday, prior to the Cardinals27-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers, that the team would ask the veteran to take a pay cut from the $15 million due next year, but that the "ball was in (Fitzgerald's) court, as far as how much he wants to accept and how willing he is to help their salary-cap situation."

After the loss, the wideout wasn't getting into a discussion of his future.

"The taste of defeat is still the only thing I can think of right now. It's all that's on my mind," Fitzgerald said. "I'm just proud of the guys in the locker room, it's been a great season competing with the fellas and this coaching staff and I'm proud of the way guys stood up for themselves and worked hard and that's all I'm thinking about at this point."

General manager Steve Keim said last month the team's "intent" is to have Fitzgerald retire a Cardinal.

It's been reported that the Cards won't cut Fitzgerald, but they could attempt to trade him.

The veteran receiver turns 32 in August. Dealing with a quarterback carousel in 2014, which included fourth-string Ryan Lindley, Fitzgerald ended his third straight season under the 1,000-yard plateau. The 11-year pro missed two games due to injury and had a career-low two touchdown catches. His 784 yards on 63 catches were both the lowest since his rookie year.

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