Eagles lose -- Fitzgerald stays in Arizona

March 11, 2008 12:39:27 PM PDT
Two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals. The deal includes $30 million guaranteed. A person familiar with the deal said it's expected to be finalized later Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been signed.

Fitzgerald said in a posting on his Web site that the deal is done.

The Cardinals wanted to renegotiate Fitzgerald's incentive-laden rookie contract because he had reached many of the benchmarks and was to receive $14.6 million in 2008 and just under $17.4 million in 2009.

Those figures left the Cardinals with hardly any room under the salary cap to sign free agents. In addition, the contract locks up Fitzgerald through 2011, when he still will be only 28 years old.

Fitzgerald, a one-time ballboy for he Minnesota Vikings, led the NFC in receptions with 100 last season for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns, earning his second Pro Bowl bid in four seasons. At 24, he has 330 career catches for 4,544 yards and 34 scores in 60 games.

He and Anquan Boldin have formed one of the league's top receiving tandems. Boldin also has made the Pro Bowl twice.

Fitzgerald has said all along that he wanted to remain with Arizona, the team that chose him as the third pick overall out of Pittsburgh in 2004. He and coach Ken Whisenhunt sat together courtside at Sunday's NBA game between San Antonio and Phoenix.

Fitzgerald was to leave later Tuesday on a trip to South America.


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