It took less than 24 hours of Larry Fitzgerald trade speculation for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim to put an end to it.
After ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Sunday morning that a Fitzgerald trade “will be in play this offseason” and that “a divorce is somewhere between possible and inevitable,” Keim made his weekly appearance on KTAR 620 AM in Phoenix on Monday and explicitly refuted these reports while leaving little room for interpretation.
“I can tell you two things, and I want to make this clear and simple,” Keim told hosts Doug Karsch and Ron Wolfley.
“I have not had one conversation with another NFL team regarding a trade with Larry Fitzgerald. Number two, starting with (team president) Michael Bidwill down, it is our intent for Larry Fitzgerald to retire a Cardinal, period. So if there was any gray area there, guys, let me know and we’ll get that out.”
Any gray area? Not much. If there’s any, it’s that a team’s philosophy can always be altered over the course of a season, and if the Cardinals were to hit the skids down the stretch and decide to go into full rebuild mode, perhaps an offseason trade would become more likely (perhaps Fitzgerald would even request one, although he has given no indication of such). And, of course, there’s always the possibility of some other elite-receiver-needy team offering the Cardinals a package they couldn’t refuse given that, according to Keim, he will always listen to offers he thinks might improve the team.
But considering Fitzgerald’s contract (massive), age (30) and position (not quarterback), it’s unlikely that such a package exists, and according to Keim, the Cardinals have no interest in dangling the best and most popular player in franchise history to try to get one. So as long as neither side has reason to seek an end to this marriage, there’s no reason to expect that divorce any time soon.
In other words, Keim said, nothing has changed since before the weekend.
“Larry Fitzgerald is a Cardinal and will continue to remain a Cardinal,” Keim added.