Training Camp

Kliff Kingsbury, Cardinals prepared to play with or without Larry Fitzgerald: 'The ball is in his court'

We spent the entire offseason waiting for an answer from Larry Fitzgerald and didn't receive one.

The Cardinals reported to camp Tuesday still unaware of Fitzgerald's intentions for 2021, but a lack of a decision hasn't sent them scrambling.

"The ball is in his court," Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said of Fitzgerald on Tuesday, via team senior writer Darren Urban.

Urban added the Cardinals will have a plan for either scenario -- Fitzgerald returning for his 18th professional season, or riding off into the sunset of retirement -- and by all accounts, they'll be fine either way.

Arizona has quickly become a team filled with veterans looking to make a push for a title in 2021, adding household names like J.J. Watt and A.J. Green to their roster in the offseason. If they don't have Fitzgerald, they'll lack his veteran presence in the locker room, but on paper they won't have a glaring void at the position.

They will need a fully invested Chandler Jones, though, if they want to become a menacing defense they expect to be in 2021 following the addition of Watt. There are legitimate questions about Jones' future in Arizona that relate to his current contract, which includes just one more year.

Jones is set to pair with Watt to create a fearsome pass-rushing duo in Arizona, and at 31 years old, he's not guaranteed to be a Cardinal beyond this season. For now, though, he's a member of Arizona's team and arrived Tuesday in a "jovial" mood, Kingsbury said.

The lingering contract issue is "part of the business," Kingsbury added.

As it stands, it's all about 2021 for the Cardinals. Fitzgerald's involvement has yet to be determined, but with the team reporting Tuesday, it's time for Arizona to get going.

Training camp is finally here! Be sure to check out NFL Network's extensive live coverage, including Inside Training Camp every day and highlighted by Training Camp: Back Together Saturday Fueled by Gatorade on July 31.

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