Larry Fitzgerald leave Arizona Cardinals? New team speculation surrounds Minnesota Vikings

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic

As the Arizona Cardinals continue to await word on Larry Fitzgerald's future, there's some speculation surrounding a possible new team for the veteran wide receiver (should he decide to continue playing and should he decide to not play in Arizona).

Several sites are writing about how Fitzgerald signing with the Minnesota Vikings would provide a storybook ending to his Hall of Fame career.

Fitzgerald, who has played 17 seasons in Arizona, has not announced his intentions for next season, prompting talk about his future.

While odds have implied that he will retire, others have speculated that he could play another season in Arizona, or that he could play for another NFL team (such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

If he were to decide to play for another NFL team, the Vikings certainly would be an intriguing option.

Fitzgerald is from Minnesota and his father, Larry Fitzgerald Sr., is a long-time sports reporter there.

It's hard to imagine the Cardinals wide receiver in another uniform, but if it were to happen, a Vikings uniform would make a lot of sense.

At least, several NFL writers seem to think so judging by their recent stories involving Fitzgerald and Minnesota's NFL team.

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Sportsnaut had a story about how signing Fitzgerald would be a great move for the Vikings.

Andrew Buller-Ross wrote: "For the Minnesota Vikings, signing Larry Fitzgerald Jr. could be a great move to help sell tickets and build excitement about a Minnesotan coming back home to play for the team he grew up rooting for. Worst case scenario, the Vikings can move on if the situation is not working out as expected. For general manager Rick Spielman, he’s got nothing to lose by bringing in the future gold jacket receiver."

Fansided listed Fitzgerald among the free agents the Vikings could still sign this offseason.

John Buhler wrote: "If he does play somewhere else besides in Arizona, Minnesota would have to be the best bet for it.

"Even in his late 30s, Fitzgerald can still play at a high level. Though he’s no longer a 1,000-yard receiver at this point of his illustrious career, Fitzgerald still can do the little things necessary to help play winning football. His love of the game and first-class nature will be a welcomed addition to any franchise he potentially signs on with. Even if the Vikings are new to him, Minnesota is home. Fitzgerald would be an overqualified No. 3 wide receiver behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen if he were to join the Vikings. Frankly, he would be an overqualified No. 3 wide receiver if he were to return to Arizona behind DeAndre Hopkins and newcomer A.J. Green. Overall, this is only a Minnesota pipe dream to get Fitzgerald to sign on for one last season with the Vikings."

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Vikings Territory addressed how Fitzgerald could help the Vikings.

Joe Johnson wrote: "Playing 17 years in the NFL as a successful wide receiver is almost unheard of. But Fitzgerald has done it effortlessly. Fitzgerald hasn’t had a 1000 yard season since 2017, but that doesn’t mean he is done being a formidable pass catcher. Last season, Fitzgerald still caught 54 receptions, even playing behind Deandre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. This coming season, Arizona has already added AJ Green and rookie Rondale Moore to the equation. So, if Fitzgerald wants an opportunity to make a difference, Minnesota might be his place to do it."

Zone Coverage took a look at how Fitzgerald's return to Minnesota makes more sense than ever.

Tom Schreier wrote: "It’s a win-win solution for everybody involved. Fitzgerald gets to finish his career with the team he grew up rooting for. With a viable WR3 on the roster, Minnesota will be incentivized to modernize their offense. And, for fans, it can’t get much better than this: Fitzgerald returns home, and the Vikings throw the ball more. It sounds too good to be true. But in this case, there’s a pragmatic reason for him to return. He gets to play on a team that needs a third receiver instead of being a depth option. After Arizona took Moore in the second round and the Vikings waited until the fifth round to take a receiver, Fitzgerald’s return to the Twin Cities makes more sense than ever."

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Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald walks off the field after an NFL preseason football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Minneapolis. Could Fitzgerald end his career in Minnesota?

The Viking Age wrote about Minnesota's chances to sign Fitzgerald.

Adam Patrick wrote: "Fitzgerald has reliable hands, he’s been a solid run-blocker during his career, and he can add some veteran leadership to a young Vikings locker room that just lost Kyle Rudolph and Riley Reiff. Due to how things turned out in the past with Fitzgerald, signing with the Vikings isn’t something that should be expected from him. But there always seems to be at least a small chance of it actually happening since he grew up in the great state of Minnesota."

Bleacher Report had a story about how signing Fitzgerald made a lot of sense for the Vikings.

Gary Davenport wrote: The Minnesota Vikings already pilfered one veteran player from the Arizona Cardinals, agreeing to terms on a one-year pact with former Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson. Now they should go back to that pool once more and bring in a player who would be a massive hit with the Minnesota fanbase and a sneaky-good upgrade for the offense. The Vikings already possess one of the better one-two punches at wide receiver in Adam Thielen and electrifying youngster Justin Jefferson. But with all due respect to Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe, the slot situation could use some work. At 37, Larry Fitzgerald is no longer the player who recorded 100-plus receptions five times, posted nine 1,000-yard seasons and made 11 Pro Bowls. But as recently as two years ago, he put up a 75/804/4 line with the Redbirds, and he has thrived in the slot in the latter stages of his career. Signing the Minneapolis native and former Vikings ball boy makes quite a bit of sense."

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