Closer look at Larry Fitzgerald's deal

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
5:30
PM ET
Former NFL executive Andrew Brandt of ESPN and National Football Post takes a detailed look at Larry Fitzgerald's new contract with the Arizona Cardinals.

Larry Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald
Lots of good details in there for those who like poring over the numbers.

Fitzgerald gets $20 million in 2011 instead of the $7 million he was scheduled to earn under his old contract. The team must exercise a $15 million option bonus in March 2012 to keep Fitzgerald from hitting the market. Fitzgerald will have received $40.25 million over two years. That works out to a $16.5 million average for new money over a two-year period on a deal that, according to Brandt, maintains a $15 million average overall.

Teams often show more concern for cash flow than cap implications in the short term. That was the case here, according to Brandt: "The Cardinals resisted but eventually gave Fitzgerald what he wanted. [Agent Eugene] Parker and Fitzgerald worked with [team president] Michael Bidwill on the cash flow issue, not requiring the major upfront cash payments that some contracts have required. And ... they allowed the Cardinals the ability to not have to fund the guarantees at the outset."

Brandt takes care to outline the broader context for the Fitzgerald deal, indirectly related to a discussion we had on the NFC West blog in 2010.

Earlier: Eleven thoughts on No. 11.

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