Larry Fitzgerald retirement odds skyrocket as Arizona Cardinals await receiver's decision

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

There is a good chance Larry Fitzgerald will never play again in the NFL, according to the latest odds from a couple of betting sites.

A very good chance. has Fitzgerald retiring before the start of the 2021 season at -250 (an implied probability of 71.4%).

It puts his odds of continuing his NFL career at +170 (an implied probability of 37%). thinks Fitzgerald playing again is an even bigger long shot.

It has him at -500 to retire before this season (implied probability of 83.3%) and +300 not to retire (implied probability of 25%).

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Since 2016, Fitzgerald has been signing one year contracts with the team.

But he's never taken this long to make up his mind about continuing to play for the Cardinals before, which has prompted speculation that he could be ready to end his career and move on to other endeavors.

It's also prompted some speculation that he could actually end his career playing for another team, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Arizona is short on salary cap space after its offseason moves and the team still has its 2021 NFL draft class to sign.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio wrote last month: "The door seems to be closed on Fitzgerald in Arizona. The signing of receiver A.J. Green, which essentially gives him Fitzgerald’s spot behind DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk, seemed to seal it. Even if the Cardinals would opt to have four receivers who don’t participate in special teams, the Cardinals seem to have too much money tied up in the position, between Hopkins’ top-of-market contract and the one-year deal given to Green."

Florio also connected Fitzgerald to Tampa Bay: "Multiple tentacles connect Fitzgerald to the Buccaneers. Bruce Arians coached Fitzgerald and the Cardinals for five years. Byron Leftwich was an offensive assistant in Arizona. Receivers coach Kevin Garver had that same role with the Cardinals; his online profile with the Bucs specifically touts his work with Fitzgerald."

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Is Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald set to retire? Some odds think he will hang up his cleats before the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Fitzgerald has been with the Cardinals, the team that drafted him, for 17 seasons.

He has played in 263 games, getting 1,432 receptions for 17,492 yards and 121 touchdowns, becoming one of the best wide receivers in NFL history and a first-ballot selection for the Hall of Fame.

Could his playing career, or at least his playing career with the Cardinals, be over?

In March, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said there was no timeline for when he had to have a decision from Fitzgerald about his future.

"Knowing him, he's probably just trying to make me sweat," Keim said of Fitzgerald. "It's a private thing for a player, and we've always given Larry his space. And he's taken his time, which, there's nobody that deserves that more than him."

Keim might be sweating a lot more now.

The odds are not in favor of Fitzgerald returning to Arizona for an 18th season.

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