Fitzgerald explains his timetable for decision
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Sunday and offered a little insight as to how and why he’s taking his time before deciding on whether to return for a 16th season with the franchise.
“There’s a checklist I always go through and sometimes I’m able to get to my conclusion faster than others,” Fitzgerald said. “I have to do my due diligence in terms of just taking some time to let your body heal because when you’re sore and your fingers are broken, it’s easy to say, ‘Man, I just don’t want to do this anymore. My body’s hurting.’
“You have to give yourself some time to decompress and take a step back.”
Fitzgerald, 35, is not under contract for 2019 and could sign with any NFL team that wants him come free agency in March. However, he reiterated that he has no intentions of playing for any team other than the Cardinals, who finished 3-13 this past season.
“I really enjoy playing in Arizona,” he said. “Aside from the record, the way management is, (General Manager) Steve Keim and (team President) Michael Bidwill, and just the state of Arizona, they’ve always been good to me.’’
As to when he might make a decision about his future, Fitzgerald said he is mindful of the team’s continuing efforts to fill out the coaching staff and that the time to possibly discuss a new deal with the team will present itself soon enough.
“I’ll sit down and talk to Mr. Bidwill and we’ll figure out what’s going to happen from there,” Fitzgerald said. “I know there’s a lot going on back home, new coaches and things are being hired, so he’s busy doing that and obviously the franchise’s future is most important, so I’m just going to take a little time until everything slows down a bit.”
Cards hire OL coach, other assistants
The Cardinals on Sunday announced the hirings of four more assistant coaches to new head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s staff. They are Sean Kugler as offensive line coach, Brian Natkin as assistant offensive line coach, David Raih as wide receivers coach and Steve Heiden, who will return as tight ends coach.
Kugler, 52, spent this past season as offensive line coach for the Broncos, working primarily with Denver’s guards and centers. He was the head coach at UTEP from 2013-17 and has prior NFL experience as an offensive line and tight ends coach with the Lions (2001-05), the Bills (2007-09) and Steelers (201012).
Ray Brown, who coached the Cardinals’ offensive line in 2018, was relieved of his duties on Dec. 31 when the team fired head coach Steve Wilks and the majority of his staff.
Natkin, 40, spent last season as the offensive line coach and run-game coordinator at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College and is a 13-year coaching veteran who spent six seasons (2012-17) at his alma mater, UTEP, as the Miners’ offensive line coach, tight ends coach, special teams coordinator and offensive coordinator.
Raih, 38, coached with Kingsbury at Texas Tech in 2013 as the assistant quarterbacks and receivers coach.