Back in November, Larry Fitzgerald – at the age of 34, making him the oldest wide receiver in the league – signed a contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals. The one year deal would keep Fitzgerald on the team under the same $11 million salary he’s seen for the last two years.

While Cardinals fans no longer have to fear a potential free agency for the face of their franchise, they do still have to worry about his potential retirement. Fitzgerald has been non-committal in interviews, and with the Cardinals’ new coaching staff following Bruce Arians’ own retirement at the end of their season, Larry allegedly wants to look at the Cardinals’ new scheme before he makes a decision. In an interview with SiriusXM Radio, Larry’s father said that before he makes a decision, his son wants “to know how he fits into the scheme of things,” and that if he didn’t play for the Cardinals, he believes the NFL “has seen the last” of him.

Which makes sense, right? A new contract means he won’t be a free agent. From there, his two options are A) Play, and fight for one more chance at a championship, or B) Retire ringless.

Hours before the start of Super Bowl LII, the legendary wide receiver told the NFL Network that his decision would come down in “a week or two.” When asked about new head coach Steve Wilks, Fitzgerald was complimentary. “I’m excited about what the future holds. Obviously there’s some things sthat need to happen […] to help our team improve,” he said, “But I’m confident that Steve Keim (GM for the Cardinals) and his group are going to do a good job with that.”

So hypothetically speaking, if Larry does decide to retire, what happens next? Larry ran rampant this season, catching 92 passes for nearly 1,000 yards. No other receiver on the team managed more than 33 catches and just about half of Larry’s total yardage. The team would need someone who would be able to pick up where Larry left off, and free agency would be their best opportunity.

Jarvis Landry (MIA) is going to be the top WR free agent this offseason. He’s seven years younger than Larry, too, and is one of the league’s best slot receivers. If the Dolphins can’t re-sign him, perhaps the Cardinals and their new staff could (and they absolutely should) make a run at him. His production from the slot isn’t as high as Larry’s, but it’s definitely Top Ten material.

Danny Amendola (NE) usually negotiates with the New England Patriots to stay on the team for a friendly paycheck, but after an astounding performance through the entire season, from start to bitter end, Amendola may test free agency to finally get that big paycheck. He’s just two years younger than Larry, but with the return of Julian Edelman next year – as well as other talented receiving options – the team may finally part ways with Danny “Playoff” Amendola.

Sammy Watkins (LAR) was probably one of the biggest offensive letdowns of the 2017 season, completing just over half of his catches to reel in eight touchdowns on the season and just over 600 total yards. These numbers are a far cry from his production with the Bills – and I’ll be honest, I still don’t see the Rams’ upside in that trade – but he’s a young receiver. With new coaching and a new quarterback, it’s entirely possible that Sammy could pick things up again.

The success of these potential targets – as well as the success of Larry Fitzgerald, if he decides not to retire – hangs on one major factor though: The new Arizona Cardinals quarterback. After Jimmy Garoppolo’s record-breaking deal with the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinals’ top QB options aren’t likely to take a pay cut to play for a team that just cannot seem to get out of their rut. If the team falls back on a draft pick for the position, I’m not sure any of these free agents will want to play for them, leaving the team to work with what they have or start scraping the bottom of the barrel.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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