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.
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.