Report: Cards, Fitzgerald nearing six-year contract extension

It has been a priority for the Arizona Cardinals and star wideout Larry Fitzgerald to reach a long-term contract extension before the start of the regular season.

An agreement appears to be only a matter of time.

Fitzgerald, who's in the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract that included $30 million guaranteed, told Sports Illustrated on Thursday that the sides are "closer than we were last week" and "not too far away" from an agreement. The contract under discussion would keep Fitzgerald in Arizona for another six years, according to the report, but the three-time All-Pro has a self-imposed deadline of Sept. 4 to get a deal done.

Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said that talks began the first week of August, and he believes a new deal can be reached before Arizona's Sept. 11 season opener.

"We want Larry to end his career as an Arizona Cardinal," Graves told The Associated Press, "and we are prepared to make him the highest-paid player in team history and one of the highest-paid players in the NFL."

For Fitzgerald, 28, it will be the third major contract of his career. He has topped 1,000 receiving yards in six of his eight NFL seasons, including 1,137 yards on 90 receptions last season with six touchdowns.

"I don't want to leave Arizona," Fitzgerald said. "This is where I started. I feel like this is my family here."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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