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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Cards don't trade Fitzgerald at deadline

By Josh Weinfuss

TEMPE, Ariz. – The NFL’s trade deadline passed at 1 p.m. MT and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is still an Arizona Cardinal.

The team didn’t make any moves Tuesday, a team spokesman confirmed.

Arizona was thrust into the center of the trade-deadline circus Sunday when ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Fitzgerald could be traded in the offseason if he wasn’t already moved by Tuesday’s deadline. On Monday, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim tried to quell that talk, saying that, as of that morning, he had not fielded any inquiries about Fitzgerald.

Whether Keim received any offers is not known, but Fitzgerald will at least finish this season in Arizona.

The decision stand pat means the Cardinals will take on the final eight weeks with what they have, with the potential for a few minor shakeups at the bottom of the roster -- a sign that Keim and coach Bruce Arians believe they could reach the playoffs with their current charges. Sunday’s game could’ve had a lot to do with that decision, when the powers-that-be saw what this team is capable of when all cylinders are beginning to fire.

Most likely, however, no moves were made because the roster will undergo another major renovation after this season. There are 15 unrestricted and four restricted free agents on the roster, which could see highly paid veterans either restructure their current deals or be cut.

Seven players have cap numbers above $5 million next season, including Fitzgerald’s $18 million, defensive end Calais Campbell’s $11.25 million and quarterback Carson Palmer’s $10 million. The Cardinals understand this team isn’t built to a win a championship this year, but if they make the playoffs anything is possible, as we’ve seen before.

A trade might have happened if the team’s brain trust felt the Cards were a piece or two away from a title. Since they’re not, they made the better decision to hold off, play out the rest of 2013 and go back to the drawing board to see how those 15 unrestricted free agents fit in the salary-cap scheme for next season and whether those high-paid vets are worth their contracts.