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|If his 15th NFL season is to be his last Adidas Andrew Ladd Jersey , don't expect Larry Fitzgerald to tell anyone.
Not until long after the season is over.
"I told you this a long time ago," he said after the Arizona Cardinals practiced Thursday. "There's never going to be a farewell tour. It's not about me. There's 53 guys on this roster. There's 53 guys who are giving their all to compete and make this team better, and coaches. It's so much bigger than any one individual."
It's pretty much the same thing Fitzgerald has said each of the past few years when questions are raised about the inevitable end to one of the greatest careers of any wide receiver in NFL history.
"No game was ever won by one man and no game was ever lost by one man," he said. "When you start thinking that it's bigger than that and it's about you, that's when you've lost touch with what this game is all about and what the spirit of this game is about."
Make no mistake about it. Fitzgerald knows all about where he stands statistically on the NFL career lists. The numbers do mean a lot to him. But he spends very little time talking about them. Maybe there will come a time, perhaps at that Hall of Fame induction ceremony. But for now, Fitzgerald is insisting he's just one guy on a team.
When Sam Bradford tosses one in a regular-season game to Fitzgerald, he will become the 18th quarterback to complete a pass to No. 11 in the receiver's years with Arizona. That is a lot of quarterbacks, to be sure.
"It's a privilege," Fitzgerald said. "Most guys don't get a chance to play long enough to be able to catch the ball from that many quarterbacks. I look at it as a blessing and a testament to my longevity. Hopefully, we can go a whole season and not have to make any changes."
Some of the quarterbacks are well known 鈥?including Hall of Famer Kurt Warner and recently retired Carson Palmer. There also was Brian St. Pierre, Max Hall and John Skelton, among many others.
Injuries led to in-season quarterback changes. So did poor quarterback play. But through it all, Fitzgerald usually catches whatever comes his way. He has caught a pass in 211 consecutive games, the second-longest such streak in NFL history behind Jerry Rice's 274. Only once in his 218 career games did he not catch a pass.
Fitzgerald Adidas Evgeny Kuznetsov Jersey , who turns 35 on Aug. 31, is within striking distance of the No. 2 spot on two other significant career lists 鈥?receptions and yards receiving. He has 15,545 yards receiving and needs 390 to pass Terrell Owens into second (behind Rice's 22,895) and, with 1,234 catches, needs 92 to pass Tony Gonzalez into second, behind Rice's formidable 1,549.
If those numbers seem a stretch, consider that Fitzgerald was second in the NFL last season with 109 catches (tying his franchise record) for 1,156 yards. The past three years, between the ages of 32 and 34, Fitzgerald caught 325 passes.
Five years ago, with the hiring of coach Bruce Arians, Fitzgerald was moved from his customary wideout position to play in the slot Nick Boyle Jersey , where blocking was a major part of his duties and he was among the best doing so at his position.
Now comes another new offense under coordinator Mike McCoy, an attack that looks to combine power running with a ball control game. In the first preseason game, Fitzgerald's block was critical in springing David Johnson for a 14-yard gain.
Fitzgerald said he's excited to see what this new system will do. He just wants to get started. First, there is Sunday night's preseason game at Dallas.
"I'm ready for the preseason to be over with," he said.
Like the other starters, Fitzgerald won't play in the preseason finale against Denver. Now it's all about staying healthy Sunday.
"I feel great. I just want to keep it that way," he said. "That's why I want the preseason to be over and the real season starts coming and the real checks start coming."
Notes: Rookie QB Josh Rosen slammed the thumb on his throwing hand against a helmet in practice this week but coach Steve Wilks said that he still expects Rosen to play.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. isn’t satisfied being the NFL’s highest-paid receiver.
The three-time Pro Bowler for the New York Giants wants much more than the $95 million deal the team agreed to pay him Monday. The 25-year-old wants to be one of the best to play in the NFL.
“Like I said, before I was even in the NFL, I wanted to be legendary,” Beckham said Tuesday. “Yeah, the money is great, you can take care of your family, you can take care of kids one day that you’ll possibly have. But my goal was always to be in the Hall of Fame, to win trophies Jonathan Ogden Jersey , to be able to leave a legacy that will be remembered way past any money that you make.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Beckham said the broken left ankle that sidelined him most of last season might have been the best thing to ever happen to him. It forced him to struggle to get back on the field and helped him mature after many slipups off the field.
That new-found maturity and his willingness to work while his contract issues were being settled went a long way in convincing co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch to open up the vault for Beckham.
“I think he’s matured quite a bit,” Mara said after practice. “I think that stuff hopefully is in the past. I think he’s ready to go on and be the type of player and citizen that we expect him to be, and I think he will be.”
Beckham, who was in the final year of his rookie contract, never doubted a new deal would be done before the start of the season.
Mara also said reports that the Giants were listening to trade offers for Beckham in the offseason were blown out of proportion. He said it would have been irresponsible not to listen.
“There was always an intention that he’d be a part of this team,” Mara said.
The major concern was his ankle. The owners wanted to make sure he was fully recovered from the Oct. 8 injury that limited him to four games.
After watching him practice against the Detroit Lions in mid-August, Mara knew the 2014 first-round pick was ready and a deal had to be reached before the start of the season on Sept. 9 at home against Jacksonville.
“It’s not like it’s going to change the way that I want to play and the way that I want to perform,” Beckham said of the contract which includes a $20 million signing bonus and $65 million in guaranteed money.
Beckham said he stayed away from the negotiations, letting his agent Zeke Sandu and the Giants’ hierarchy handle the talks.
“It just was a matter of when,” he said. “I knew that I was already taken care of before this happened, and like I said, I was just happy that it happened.”
What Beckham has done in his first four seasons is remarkable. He has 313 catches for 4,424 yards and 38 touchdowns in 47 games. He is already tied for second among all-time Giants’ receivers with three 1,000-yard seasons.
“You kind of dream about this moment all your life Justin Blackmon Jersey ,” Beckham said. “In fact, you’ve dedicated everything, you sacrifice weekends, your parents have sacrificed weekend after weekend traveling, doing this and that just to be able to get to this point, so it is a relief. It’s a wonderful opportunity for myself and my family.”
There were many who worried about Beckham because of his off-the-field problems. After the Giants made the playoffs in 2016, Beckham went to Florida with a number of fellow receivers and took a boat trip.
It did not go over well and it hurt Beckham when he played poorly against the Packers.
His reputation took another hit when a video was posted with him in a room where a hand-rolled cigarette was visible.
Beckham is not proud of those things.
“It wasn’t the best thing to happen to me to date, but what I got to learn and take and grow from, was everything that I needed in my life and now I’m able to take that and keep going forward and just be the best me that I can be,” he said.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur has been cautious with Beckham in the preseason. He has not played in any of the three games, and it is unlikely he will see action in the finale at home against New England on Thursday.
“There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be ready to go against Jacksonville,” Shurmur added.
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