Fitzgerald Agrees to Restructured Deal

Larry Fitzgerald announced on his Web site that he and the Cardinals have agreed to terms on a new contract that will allow Arizona to jump back into the free agent pool. The reported four-year, $40 million pact will keep the Cardinals' most talented offensive weapon in the fold through 2011.

Larry Fitzgerald's new contract was a compromise by both parties. Fitzgerald settled for less money than his original demands, although he will reportedly bank $33 million in the first three years of the deal.

The Cardinals settled on the length of the contract, which will allow Fitzgerald to enter the free agent pool at the age of 28. That should allow Fitzgerald to earn one more mega-deal before he passes his prime.

The new contract will save the Cardinals more than $8 million in salary cap space. That is a coup for Arizona officials, as the team was pressed so tightly against the cap that it wouldn't have had enough money to sign it's rookie class.

The Cardinals can now get back to chasing free agents, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Arizona has only 16 defenders under contract for next season.

Fitzgerald has been a dominant force for the Cardinals since being selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 draft. In his four years in the league, he has compiled 330 catches, 4,544 yards and 34 touchdowns.

He was the only Cardinals player voted into last year's Pro Bowl, although Darnell Dockett was later named as an injury alternate.

Fitzgerald's long-term deal also guarantees that Matt Leinart will continue to benefit from working with the NFL's top receiving tandem. Fitzgerald's running mate, Anquan Boldin, is under contract through 2010.


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