The talk of the offseason for the Arizona Cardinals continues to be led by the Larry Fitzgerald contract situation. The situation is well documented. He has a $23.6 million salary cap value in 2015, a number that will handcuff the team. Something will have to be done.
There has been both confidence from team president Michael Bidwill that an agreement will be made and also slight pressure placed on Fitz to let him know he needs to play ball, too.
However, with so much focus placed on the money and the salary cap, there is an element that perhaps will be the bigger potential hangup.
Local beat writer Kent Somers believes it is more about Fitzgerald's role with the team.
In a recent radio interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Somers said "it's going to come done to whether Larry feels like he is a valued piece of this offense."
Essentially, "is he going to get the ball enough to keep him happy and to get him eventually into the Hall of Fame?"
Fitzgerald's role changed when Bruce Arians was hired. He plays a lot more in the slot and doesn't get targeted down the field. His numbers have been very pedestrian over the past couple of seasons, although he was on track to have a really solid year (80 catches, 1100 yards) until both he and Carson Palmer got hurt.
Fitz wants to win. He has that chance here. He is willing to sacrifice to do so. He willingly blocked a lot last season and was very good at it, but even he said he takes more pride in catching passes than blocking.
Somers also does not share the optimism that many do that a deal will simply get done. He was also on Fox Sports Radio 910 with Jody Oehler and Mike Jurecki and pointed out Jurecki "has a much more optimistic feel for it" than he does. Somers believes "it's 50/50" whether Fitz redoes his contract or whether he is released and leaves for another team.
Legacy will be important. Fitz wants to be one of the best ever. He has been thus far, but he wants to win and have an impact on his team. Will the Cardinals be able to do both for him? If you believe the money part won't be an issue, are you optimistic he will be happy with the role he has with the team moving forward?