Will Larry Fitzgerald rank among the top five receivers of all time?

Announced as No. 45 in Monday night's installment of NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2017,"Larry Fitzgerald said in February that he'll return this fall to play his 14th NFL season. The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver currently has 14,389 career receiving yards -- which ranks him ninth on the all-time list. If Fitzgerald hauls in at least 904 yards -- which is about 200 yards less than his yearly average to date -- he would surpass Randy Moss, who sits at No. 3 (with 15,292 yards) behind only Terrell Owens (15,934) and Jerry Rice (22,895).

When looking at the big picture, it's clear the 10-time Pro Bowler is bound to be a Hall of Famer. And it also seems clear that he has a solid chance to vault himself into elite territory in the record books. But it can help to consider more than stats when weighing a player's legacy. The Cardinals have registered just five winning seasons and four playoff trips in Fitzgerald's 13 years in Arizona. He's also toiled in the desert -- far from the country's major media hubs -- with some seriously spotty quarterback play. Then again, he's currently the all-time record-holder in single-season playoff receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, having racked up a jaw-dropping 546 and seven during the Cardinals' run to Super Bowl XLIII.

Looking beyond his final career receiving-yards total, when Fitzgerald hangs up his cleats, will he have done enough to establish himself as one of the top five receivers of all time?

Larry Fitzgerald has been a really good receiver, able to play inside and outside well. But if you're game-planning and ask your cornerbacks, "Who are the five guys you don't want to cover?" No disrespect to Larry, but he wouldn't be in that conversation with Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, T.O. and even Marvin Harrison. There are so many good receivers that making the top five is tough. Larry Fitzgerald will be considered a top-five receiver. There was a three- or four-year span when Fitzgerald didn't even have a second-tier quarterback to work with. Jerry Rice played with two Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Joe Montana and Steve Young), while Terrell Owens and Randy Moss played with some great quarterbacks as well. If Fitz had guys like that his entire career, we might be talking about Fitz challenging Jerry Rice as the G.O.A.T. when it comes to wide receivers. I would painfully say no. I love Larry. And if I were starting a team, I would build around him on offense, because he's done everything in his career. But I can't put him in the list with guys like Jerry Rice, T.O. and Randy Moss. There's three guys right off the bat. He's one of the best players to ever play the game, but I'm not ready to call him a top-five all-timer. When I think about the likes of T.O., Randy Moss and some of those guys, I don't believe Fitzgerald had the same impact on the game. In ranking the top five, I'm looking for guys who have the scary factor that you really worry about, from a game-planning standpoint. I think he's just a notch below players like Jerry Rice, T.O., Moss, Cris Carter and Art Monk. I think Larry is a phenomenal player, but I don't think he's in my top five. When I think of the upper echelon in terms of wide receivers, I look at Jerry Rice, of course. Then it goes Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison and Sterling Sharpe. The former Green Bay Packer's career-ending neck injury shouldn't hurt his chances here. Nobody could stop Sharpe.

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