Larry Fitzgerald was recently on the Doug and Wolf Show on Sports 620 KTAR discussing his new 8-year $120 million contract. Sports Radio Interviews transcribed the interview for us and after reading it, it seems to me that Fitzgerald may have changed his stance on a topic that he was pretty adamant on before.
Larry answered questions about his new contract saying how happy he is to remain a Cardinal and stating that this is where he wanted to be all along. When asked about some of his teammates' reactions, Fitz had this to say:
"Honestly it has been cool. My teammates just said they are happy for me. I think that is the ultimate sign of respect for your peers to care enough to say anything to you. I'm happy to be with this team for the future and happy to be with my teammates."
Other than guard Daryn Colledge asking if Larry was going to buy him a new car, it seems that everyone is treating Larry the same way as they did before he signed his new big deal.
Fitzgerald also went on to say that although he didn't let the contract side of football bother him on the field, he still had it in the back of his mind off the field. It is obvious that Fitzgerald is a professional and to have heard any answer different than this would have been surprising.
Then came the talk of how he and Kolb were starting to form a bond. It is going to take some time before their chemistry can become as good as it was between Kurt and Fitz, but Larry doesn't doubt that the potential for a great tandem is there. He also gushed a bit on Kolb when he had this to say:
"The thing I like about him is that he gets the ball out of his hands quick. He makes very fast decisions and he is going to give me an opportunity to go make plays, which is something that any receiver would be licking their chops for."
We never heard any of this in regards to Derek Anderson, John Skelton or Max Hall, so knowing that Larry already feels comfortable with the team's new signal caller is a huge positive sign.
When Larry Fitzgerald had his press conference to announce his new deal, he stated that the signings of the new players really had no bearing on him signing the extension. He noted that this is Mr. Bidwill's team and that he had full confidence in him to make this a better football team. Fitzgerald seemingly downplayed the idea that bringing in Kolb had a factor in him signing an extension.
When asked on the Doug and Wolf Show if the Kevin Kolb trade had anything to do with him signing the extension, Fitzgerald said this:
"I wanted to be a Cardinal. I am happy I am going to be able to be a Cardinal, but signing Kevin I knew that the organization was going everything it could to make us be in contention again and make a playoff push like we did two years ago with Kurt (Warner)."
In my opinion, Fitzgerald never would have signed a new deal with Arizona if these aggressive moves were not made during the off-season. Kudos to general manager Rod Graves, Steve Keim and head coach Ken Whisenhunt for putting a better team around Larry that would satisfy him enough to make want him to stay. Behind closed doors, I am sure Larry would say the same thing.
"The team is really making that conscious effort to make sure we are fighting and scratching for that NFC West Championship," Fitzgerald said, "I think we have a great opportunity to win it."