Did Larry Fitzgerald retire? Explaining why Cardinals WR hasnt returned to NFL yet in 2022

For 17 years, Larry Fitzgerald was a mainstay on the Cardinals offense. He spent every season with the team after being selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft out of Pitt, and he has put together a Hall of Fame career.

Fitzgerald has 1,432 career catches. He has posted 17,492 receiving yards. He has also scored 121 touchdowns. Impressively, that all came with what was largely a revolving door at the quarterback position.

Fitzgerald is certainly the best receiver that the Cardinals have ever had. But where is he now? For the first time since 2003, he isn’t gracing the Cardinals’ sideline. Instead, Arizona will carry a loaded receiving corps, but one that doesn’t feature their previously longest-tenured, most beloved player.

Did Larry Fitzgerald retire? Here’s what the Arizona legend is up to right now and his thoughts about playing in the NFL again some day.

Did Larry Fitzgerald retire?

Larry Fitzgerald has not officially announced his retirement from the NFL yet. He is a free agent but he doesn’t seem to be interested in signing anywhere right now.

“I just don’t have the urge to play right now,” Fitzgerald said in an interview with Jim Gray back in late August. “I don’t know how I’ll feel in September, October, November moving forward but today, I just don’t have that urge.”

Those three months have come and gone, so it doesn’t seem like anything has change for Fitzgerald. And as long as that urge to play isn’t there, he doesn’t plan on returning to the field. Why?

“I think I have to be respectful of that,” Fitzgerald said. “Football is not one of those games you want to walk out there and play and not be fully engaged and ready to repare and do the things necessary that you need to do.”

INJURY UPDATE: J.J. Watt & DeAndre Hopkins

Could Larry Fitzgerald play in 2022 NFL playoffs?

Fitzgerald left the door open for a potential return. That’s one of the reasons that he hasn’t filed for retirement with the NFL as of this writing.

But will he eventually feel the spark and desire to play?

“I have no idea,” Fitzgerald said, per the Cardinals official website. “I’ve done this for thirty-plus years and every year I have gone into it, I’ve felt a certain way. I’ve felt the urge to go out and do it, and I just don’t feel that right now.

“I don’t know if it is going to change. But if it does, it does. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m not putting too much thought into it.”

Could a chance to win a Super Bowl change Fitzgerald’s mind? He indicated that he wants to win a Super Bowl, but he’s just not sure if he loves “the process” of getting there enough with where he’s currently at.

“The pursuit is the Lombardi Trophy, but you have to be in love with the process of pursuing the Lombardi Trophy,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the part that’s most important.”

The Cardinals would probably welcome Larry Fitzgerald back wholeheartedly if he wanted to return. The only concern would have been about his career-worst 7.6 yards per catch last season. The team has strong receiving depth in Hopkins, A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore, but Fitzgerald would have added experience and and an option to help replace Hopkins’ production while he’s out of the lineup.

But would Fitzgerald want to return for a bit role? That remains unclear. At this point, it seems like he won’t return during the 2022 NFL playoffs and will enjoy his pseudo-retirement.

What is Larry Fitzgerald doing now?

Fitzgerald is actually working as a radio broadcast on a podcast called “Let’s Go!” alongside Tom Brady and Gray. The show focuses on trending topics from across the NFL, including the surging Bengals and Cardinals teams as well as Brady’s game against the Patriots in Foxboro.

The show also features “in-depth insightful and introspective one-on-one conversations with each of these future Hall of Famer football players,” according to its description. 

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