Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will become a free agent after this season if he doesn't reach a contract extension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
According to the report, Fitzgerald has a clause in his four-year, $40 million deal that prevents the Cardinals from designating him as their franchise player. Earlier this month, general manager Rod Graves said he hoped to work out a new deal before the start of the regular season.
"If Larry is sincere about his willingness to remain here, then I believe we'll get a deal worked out before the start of the season," Graves said, per the Arizona Republic. "He says he is (sincere) and I believe him. A lot will be said for that once we enter into our talks and see how swiftly (they go)."
The Cardinals' regular-season opener is Sept. 11.
Fitzgerald is in the final year of a four-year contract, and is scheduled to earn $10 million in 2011. The seven-year veteran worked out with new Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb over the summer, even before Kolb was acquired from Philadelphia, and has said numerous times he wants to stay with the Cardinals.
"Larry is our leader and with his help, I'd like to try to get this done before the season," Graves said.
While the Cardinals let Steve Breaston sign with Kansas City as a free agent and Braylon Edwards signed with division-rival San Francisco, Arizona to improve its passing attack with the signing of tight end Todd Heap.
Fitzgerald can become free agent after 2011
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