The Arizona Cardinals would have been in the playoffs this year if they were in an easier division, and their task this offseason is to improve enough so that they can get over the hump. The bar has been set high due to the NFC West, but the Cardinals have the talent to do it, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
What could hurt them, however, is the salary cap, and Larry Fitzgerald’s contract is worth watching closely. It’s unlikely the franchise icon is going to end up going anywhere, but there were rumors during the regular season that Fitzgerald could potentially be a part of trade discussions in the offseason. He is going to make $12.75 million next season, and that’s a total the Cardinals probably can’t afford. The Cards will have to restructure his contract, but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be able to get Fitzgerald to agree to a pay cut.
According to the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, Larry Fitzgerald is unwilling to take a pay cut, and that could complicate things for the Cardinals. They are going to try to save as much money as possible by moving his base salary into a prorated bonus, which would give them the cap flexibility that they need. Fitzgerald isn’t going anywhere and the Cardinals definitely don’t want to trade him, but the 82-catch receiver’s salary could have significant implications on the Cardinals ability to make upgrades in free agency.