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Larry Fitzgerald: I won't catch Rice, Gonzalez records

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Will Larry Fitzgerald retire after 2016? Will he give us one more sensational season in 2017?

When Fitzgerald will walk away is a mystery, but the All-Pro receiver gave us the parameters for the rest of his career: Before he catches Tony Gonzalez and Jerry Rice in the receptions column.

The Cardinals' career receptions leader moved to No. 3 in NFL history last week, passing Marvin Harrison. Fitzgerald has caught 1,106 passes in his career, 219 behind Gonzalez (1,325) and 443 behind Rice (1,549).

On Thursday, Fitzgerald said he wouldn't be around to push either Hall of Famer.

"I won't catch any of those guys," Fitzgerald said, via ESPN.com.

At 33-years-old, Fitzgerald is on pace to finish with a career-high 117 catches this season. He set a career-high last season with 109.

Given his pace with Carson Palmer at quarterback (the two are under contract through 2017), Fitzgerald could conceivably pass Gonzalez in 2018.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in September that Fitzgerald has told people close to him that he expects 2016 to be his last season, per a source informed of his decision. The receiver dismissed the report at the time -- without actually saying it was false.

Even if he returns in 2017, like the football world hopes, saying he won't catch Gonzalez in the receptions race indicates he plans to walk away before 2018.

In the past two years, Fitzgerald proved he has plenty of good football left in his body. He remains the catalyst of the Cardinals' passing game, even as his speed fades.

If only Fitzgerald didn't spend years of his prime with quarterbacks like John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Brian St. Pierre, Richard Bartel and John Navarre we wouldn't be talking about him needed two more seasons to pass Gonzalez.

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