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What can the Arizona Cardinals do with Larry FItzgerald?

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No one player is worth 16% of the salary cap.... how can we keep Larry Fitzgerald at a number we can afford.

STAY WITH US LARRY
STAY WITH US LARRY
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Please be warned. I do not know if these numbers are accurate but I am going to use them in this article.  I am sure they are close.

YEAR BASE SIGNING BONUS ROSTER BONUS OPTION BONUS WORKOUT BONUS RESTRUC. BONUS INCENTIVE CAP HIT DEAD
2015 8,000,000 2,000,000 8,000,000 3,000,000 250,000 2,350,000 - 23,600,000 14,436,000
2016 15,000,000 - - - 250,000 2,350,000 - 17,600,000 7,077,000
2017 14,750,000 - - - 250,000 2,350,000 - 17,350,000 4,718,000
2018 14,750,000 - - - 250,000 2,350,000 - 17,350,000 2,359,000

I look at these numbers and I cry a little bit inside.  I love Larry Fitzgerald and would be very upset to see him in another team's uniform, but after this year I don't see how we can keep Larry with these cap hits.  $23 million, or 16 percent of our cap, is going to one player next year and that cant happen for a non quarterback.

Option 1

Larry restructures yet again.  By my calculation, he has $63.5 million of this contract left owed to him.  But almost all of it is not guaranteed.  So if Larry would let us we can do a five-year, $55 million deal with $40 million essentially guaranteed.  This will give him long-term security in the event of an injury and reduce our cap number by $6 million for three years but extend it a year.  This is a gamble on an aging receiver and maybe he isn't worth it, but to keep him here but I for one want him to finish his career here.

Option 2

Trading him is never going to happen at these numbers.  If we can't afford him no one else is going to be able to.  The only other option we have is to cut the face of our franchise.  In my eyes, this is not an option but let's be honest. We are eating about $30 million of  dead money over four years.  I hope above anything that it doesn't come to this.  I foresee a restructure coming unless Larry doesn't believe we are in a position to win.  A winning season this year and Option 1 is way more likely because we are so close to being a winner in this league.