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Larry Fitzgerald to make retirement decision ‘shortly after’ coaching hire

The former Pitt standout is still undecided about the 2018 NFL season

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer announced their retirement on Jan. 1 and 2, respectively, begging questions about longtime wide receiver and former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald, who had already been mulling retirement himself.

The 34-year-old receiver spoke with Lauren Thompson of the Golf Channel on Friday during an appearance at the Diamond Resorts Invitational, and he provided his first update since the news about Arians and Palmer broke. Unsurprisingly, the Cardinals’ upcoming coaching hire will factor significantly into his decision on his future in the league.

“I don’t have a head coach right now, so there’s a lot going on,” Fitzgerald said. “I’m going to take some time to figure it out. Our owner and president Michael Bidwill and general manager Steve Keim are out right now interviewing head coaches. So I’m interested to see what’s going to happen. I’ll make a decision shortly after, I would imagine.”

Arians and Palmer both joined the Cardinals in 2013. Prior to their arrival, the team fielded the worst offense in the league in 2012. But the pairing of Palmer and Fitzgerald under the guidance of Arians saw Arizona’s offense ranked first by 2015. Of course, that offense faltered in 2017 and could continue to struggle in 2018 as it adjusts to a new coach.

However, if Fitzgerald does decide to return for his 15th NFL season, he’ll have plenty to play for, as he could pass Terrell Owens on the all-time receiving yards list and Tony Gonzalez on the all-time receptions list, ranking second only to Jerry Rice in each category.