- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2016

Larry Fitzgerald and retirement? That’s nonsense.

The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver caught eight passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns in the season opener against the New England Patriots. And even though his Cardinals lost, the 33-year-old Fitzgerald has far too much confidence in his team to go out early.

“I don’t talk about the future,” Fitzgerald told NFL.com’s Nick Shook. “I don’t even know what I am having for dinner tonight, let alone what I am doing next year. I signed another year for a reason. I believe in what we’re doing here.”

Fitzgerald signed a one-year contract extension that will carry him through the 2017 season, but reports emerged Sunday that this season would likely be Fitzgerald’s last. 

Fitzgerald is far too productive and valuable to his team to retire this season. Not only was Fitzgerald targeted a team-high 10 times by quarterback Carson Palmer, but the veteran snagged his 100th touchdown catch midway through the fourth quarter. With the ball inside the two-yard line, Fitzgerald went out for a quick fade in the back left corner. With Patriots corner Logan Ryan shadowing him, Fitzgerald contorted his body to find the pass as he fell to the ground.



That 100th touchdown catch tied Fitzgerald with Tim Brown and Steve Largent at No. 9 on the NFL’s all-time list. And, considering Fitzgerald has averaged seven touchdowns per year over the past three seasons, Fitzgerald can still climb the all-time list if he continues beyond this season. Jerry Rice’s all-time mark of 197 is almost certainly out of reach, but catching Tony Gonzalez’s sixth all-time mark of 111 is a possibility.

But, as Fitzgerald said, he believes in what the Cardinals can accomplish. With a three-pronged receiving attack in Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown, as well as running back David Johnson, regarded as one of the better backs in the NFL, Arizona boasts a powerful offense that few teams can match. And with a secondary that helped force 19 interceptions last season, Arizona opened the NFL season with the sixth-best odds to win Super Bowl 51, according to Bovada.

Fitzgerald still has some football left in him. And while he may not know what he is going to have for dinner tonight, he is still preparing for life after football.

This past spring Fitzgerald finished out his college education, which began all the way back in 2002 at the University of Pittsburgh, graduating from the University of Phoenix with a degree in communications and a minor in marketing.

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