Larry Fitzgerald eyes Cards deal

Updated: March 10, 2011, 9:03 AM ET
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com

The Arizona Cardinals and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald failed to come to terms on a contract extension last week before the league's collective bargaining agreement was set to expire.

But Fitzgerald said on Wednesday that he is "not really" interested in testing the free-agent market.

Fitzgerald is entering the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract he signed in 2008.

He said on Wednesday that he is "absolutely" hopeful that he can work out an extension with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald said "progress was being made" in contract talks between his agent and the Cardinals before the end of the NFL's business calendar on March 3.

It seems like Arizona is doing everything it can to keep Fitzgerald. League sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter last month that the Cardinals solicited Fitzgerald's advice on which quarterback the club should trade for or sign.

Fitzgerald was asked on Wednesday if there was anything that would sway his decision to stay in Arizona.

"If the Cardinals cut me or if they feel like they want to trade me," Fitzgerald said at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan during an appearance at the EAS Unstoppable Tour. "I don't have a choice at that point. I'd have to go try to find other employment."

Contract negotiations for Fitzgerald or any other player cannot continue until NFL owners and players agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

The league and owners are in mediation talks. If a deal isn't reached by Friday, the sides could agree to another extension. Or talks could break off, leading to, possibly, a lockout by owners or antitrust lawsuits by players. Fitzgerald said he believes any potential lockout would not affect the 2011 schedule.

"I definitely believe there's going to be football next year," the 27-year-old said. "It's a lot at stake so I think it's going to be back next year."

Fitzgerald, a five-time Pro-Bowler, hoped that the players would not consent to the owner's proposal of an 18-game schedule.

"It's already tough enough as it is with 16 games," said Fitgerald, who has played in 108 games in seven seasons. "If they added any more games, I can't even think about the wear and tear that would occur."

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound wideout finished the 2010 season with 90 catches, 1,137 yards and six touchdowns.

Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.