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Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals finalize new deal

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INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Fitzgerald is staying in the desert.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Fitzgerald and the Cardinals are closing in on a deal that will allow the star wide receiver to finish his career in Arizona, according to a source informed of the deal.

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General manager Steve Keim confirmed at the NFL Scouting Combine two hours later that the deal is "finished." Per Keim, it's essentially a two-year arrangement. Rapoport added that Fitz's deal is for $11 million per year and saves the Cards $13 million in the first season, per a source who has seen the contract.

"The two biggest pulls for us were pretty simple," Keim explained. "No. 1 to compensate Larry for the type of player, the type of talent he is and the leader that he is. And then essentially clearing up enough salary cap space for us moving forward to be able to be aggressive and proactive when free agency starts."

Fitzgerald was due $16 million in salary next season under his old deal. Rapoport reported last week that the Cardinals were looking for relief on the cap hit tied to Fitzgerald's contract, a steep $23 million allotment that will severely limit what they can do in free agency.

Fitzgerald is the Cardinals' all-time leading receiver and perhaps the most popular player in franchise history. He has been in a statistical decline, however, and will turn 32 before the start of the season.

The new contract should take him through the prime of a highly decorated career that will potentially result in a Hall of Fame bust.

Fitzgerald might not be the player he once was, but he remains productive and one of the leaders of Bruce Arians' team. Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and second-year receiver John Brown form a potent group for Carson Palmer, who has a chance to return from ACL surgery by OTAs.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down RGIII's appointment as starter and Larry Fitzgerald's new deal with the Cardinals. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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