Arizona Cardinals wide receiver and Pitt great Larry Fitzgerald is preparing for his 16th NFL season, and he remains highly regarded by those around the league, as he was ranked 60th in the NFL Top 100, an annual listing of the league's top players, on Friday night.
”[He is a] legend, someone I watched since the Pittsburgh days,” Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods said of Fitzgerald in an NFL Network interview. “He’s one of those players who just pays attention, really loves the game [and] really loves the players."
Fitzgerald logged 1,000 or more receiving yards in three of the past four seasons but saw a downtick in 2018, as the Cardinals — and their receiving corps, in particular — adjusted to life without quarterback Carson Palmer under center and head coach Bruce Arians on the sidelines. As a result, he saw his stock drop in the NFL Top 100, falling 33 spots from 27th to 60th over the past year.
In 2018, the star receiver caught fewer than 100 passes for the first time since 2014, and none of the team’s pass-catchers came up with more than Fitzgerald’s 69 receptions, 734 yards or six touchdowns. Josh Rosen, Palmer’s successor, was traded to the Miami Dolphins and replaced by rookie Kyler Murray, a first-round draft pick out of Oklahoma.
At this point in his career, Fitzgerald’s place in history is cemented, as he is a lock for the Hall of Fame. He leads all active players in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdown receptions, as he has amassed 1,303 receptions, 16,279 yards and 116 touchdowns.
Fitzgerald also ranks third, second and sixth in those categories, respectively, and could supplant Tony Gonzalez for second place in all-time receiving yardage this season. In addition, he could also pass Marvin Harrison and Cris Carter on the all-time touchdown receptions list, and that would place him fourth all-time.
This is Fitzgerald’s ninth consecutive appearance on the NFL Top 100, meaning he has been included on the list every year since its inception in 2011.