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Fitzgerald's Future With Cardinals Up In The Air
Perhaps the biggest unknown going into the Cardinals’ offseason will be Larry Fitzgerald’s future. His salary cap number in 2015 is scheduled to be $23.6 million, and he is due a decision-forcing $8 million roster bonus in early March.

According to's Darren Urban, head coach Bruce Arians was asked Sunday where Fitzgerald fits into the Cardinals’ future plans. "He’s right where he’s always been,” Arians said. “I don’t control money and caps and all that crap. I just coach the heck out of him and he’s a great kid. I look forward to having him next year.”

Fitzgerald insisted he wasn’t thinking about whether he had played his last game as a Cardinal following Saturday night’s loss in Carolina.

“The taste of defeat is the only thing I can think about right now,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s all that’s on my mind. I’m just proud of the guys in this locker room. It’s been a great season competing with these fellas and this coaching staff. That’s all I’m thinking of at this point.”

General manager Steve Keim is the one who controls the money and cap, however, and there is not a simple answer.

Fitzgerald has long been the face of the franchise, but his days as one of the league's most dangerous offensive weapons appear to be in the past.

He finished with fewer than 1,000 yards receiving for a third straight season, although he was on pace for such a year before quarterback Carson Palmer got hurt and then suffering a knee injury himself. After missing two games, Fitzgerald finished with a career-low two touchdowns and his 784 yards and 63 catches were the lowest totals he has had in a season other than his rookie year. Fitzgerald turns 32 in August.

Keim has said Fitzgerald’s cap number is “baked in” to the budget for 2015 and the “intent” is for Fitzgerald to remain. But Fitzgerald could be traded, or the team could see if Fitzgerald is willing to take a cut in pay.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported over the weekend that that the Cardinals are indeed expected to ask Fitzgerald to take a pay cut from his $15 million salary in 2015.

"I'm told the ball is in his court, as far as how much he wants to accept and how willing he is to help their salary-cap situation," Rapoport said.

That seems unlikely.

If fact,'s Craig Morgan reported last week that Fitzgerald does not expect to be back with the Cardinals next season. In addition to a reluctance to take a pay cut, Morgan reported that Fitzgerald is not happy with his role on the team. He doesn't like playing in the slot and he's become far less of a focal point of the offense.

For what it's worth,'s Mike Reiss suggested over the weekend that if the Cardinals don’t keep Fitzgerald, he could be an intriguing New England target this offseason. "Since talking with Fitzgerald at the Super Bowl in 2011," Reiss added, "I have thought he was someone (Patriots coach Bill) Belichick would enjoy coaching."

Stay tuned. ... It will be an interesting offseason for Fitzgerald and the Cardinals.

Meanwhile, in a semi-related note. ... Urban reports that Palmer continues to rehabilitate the torn ACL he suffered against the Rams on Nov. 9.

“I’m just continuing to grind it out,” Palmer said. “It’s baby steps from here but I actually get to start up-tempo walking-slash-jogging on Monday, so I’m excited about that.”

The Cardinals were 6-0 in games Palmer started, as he finished with 1,626 yards passing, a 62.9 completion percentage, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. He hopes to be back at some point during OTAs in June.

He turned 35 late last month and has three years left on the $50 million contract extension he signed just two days before he was injured.