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Report: Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals discussing return

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Don't count on your team recruiting Larry Fitzgerald just yet.

Just days after speculation swirled that Fitzgerald had played his last game in Arizona, the Cardinals opened preliminary contract discussions with the wide receiver's agent, reports Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.

No new deal is imminent, as the sides have not even discussed money. The renewed talks are a sign of mutual interest in a Fitzgerald return, however.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport has reported that the organization is expected to ask Fitzgerald to accept a paycut from his $15 million salary that is due to count $23.6 million against the salary cap.

General manager Steve Keim said last month that Fitzgerald's cap number has already been "baked in" to the Cardinals' 2015 plans. At that inflated number, though, it would hamper Keim's ability to sign free agents.

It's in the interest of both parties to reach agreement on a restructured deal. Fitzgerald can still play at a high level when healthy -- as evidenced by his five-game average of 92 yards from Weeks 6-10.

If he acknowledges his durability issues by accepting a paycut, though, he will likely want assurances from coach Bruce Arians that his role won't be reduced going forward.

Fitzgerald will receive an $8 million bonus if he's still on the roster by March 17. Deadlines spur action, so expect talks to ramp up around that time.

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