On the eve of the Arizona Cardinals' final preseason game this season, perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will turn 29 years old. Few players take as much care of their bodies the way that Fitzgerald does, but after eight seasons in the NFL, Fitzgerald acknowledges that he's likely on the backside of his career.
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"I don't have another eight, nine years to play," Fitzgerald said, according to a Saturday report from Dan Bickley of The Arizona Republic. "I would love to, but realistically, that's not going to happen. So the window of opportunity is short, and that's another reason why I talked to Michael (Floyd), why I talk to Andre (Roberts).
"I tell them, 'Before you know it, you're going to look down and find gray hair in your beard. You're going to be sore in parts that were never sore before. It changes that fast, and I never realized that before. So I need your best right now.' Adrian (Wilson) is telling the defense the same thing, getting everyone to buy in because we need to make it happen now."
A desire to hoist the Lombardi Trophy and an awareness that he won't play forever might have been behind Fitzgerald's involvement in the team's pursuit of a quarterback in the post-Kurt Warner Era. The wideout gave his verbal approval of Kevin Kolb during the lockout and was at the team's facility when the club hosted Peyton Manning in March. To help take some of the heat off himself, therefore making the entire offense better, Fitzgerald also advocated for the selection of Notre Dame wideout Michael Floyd in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
"When it's all said and done, I don't want people to say, 'Yeah, he was a talented guy who put up numbers, but he was never able to win the ultimate prize,' " Fitzgerald said. "That's where my mind-set is at."