Larry Fitzgerald returning to play for 2017 season

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  • By Lakisha Jackson NFL.com
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Larry Fitzgerald has finally made a decision on his future with the Arizona Cardinals.

The wideout told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport he's returning to play for the 2017 season. Fitzgerald said he's feeling "back to normal" physically.

"Some things that were killing me late in the year are feeling back to normal for me. That's a relief. Also, my fire and desire to win and compete vs. the best still burns," Fitzgerald told Rapoport. He had 107 catches and 1,023 yards in 2016 which lead the league in catches and finished 20th in total yards.

With Fitzgerald set to return, the big question for the Cardinals is if quarterback Carson Palmer will be back. Fitzgerald's decision could be a good sign that Palmer will return too. Those who know them well say the two are tied at the hip, Rapoport added.

"There's a much more of a physical determination to be made for Carson Palmer," Rapoport reported on Super Bowl Live on Thursday. "He wants to return and has said if he's feeling OK physically, that he will be back. But from what understand, this was the most taxing season for him -- really in his career. He got beat up, was dealing with several nagging injuries, he just did not feel great. And even, as of recently, was still struggling to feel like him old self."

Coach Bruce Arians can breathe a little easier knowing his top receiver will be back next season. Earlier this week at the Waste Management Open golf tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona, Arians sounded positive that both would be back but hadn't heard anything official.

"It's up to them," Arians said. "I feel comfortable with where they are at and what's going to happen. Like everyone, I have my fingers crossed. I think when the juices start flowing and the injuries go away, they'll come back. But there is nothing to confirm yet."

Now we just need to see if Palmer wants to come back for another season. There is no hard-and-fast deadline, but the team wants to know by the middle of February to collaborate on plans as they prepare for the free-agent signing period.

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