Posted by Will Brinson
Despite a pretty gaudy stat line, Larry Fitzgerald didn't have the greatest of years in 2010. That's mainly the fault of Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton, but certainly the Cardinals organization deserves some blame for entering the year with that spectacular group of quarterbacks.
But even if you don't want to point fingers towards the past, there will be some questions about the future if Arizona doesn't improve the surroundings for Fitz, who emphasized this week that he very much doesn't want to suffer through another season like last year.
"I want to be on a winner,"Fitzgerald told ESPN's Mike Sando. "I want to put myself in the best position to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. I would love to do that in Arizona. That is my goal, to retire a Cardinal. They have treated me well. I love the state, but I want to win and that is really where my mind is."
But here's the rub: Fitzgerald is going to be a free agent after 2011, and if he's serious about wanting to win in Arizona, he might need to make some concessions in the negotiations.
That seems fairly unlikely to happen, especially considering the way Fitz saw Kurt Warner treated after he attempted to give Arizona a good-faith discount, which means Fitzgerald and his management will be seeking maximum money.
In doing so, even if he only ends up getting fair market value for his considerable skill set, he's inherently hampering the Cardinals' long-term ability to build a winner around him.
They can obviously still compete and pay him at the same time, of course, because it's been done prior to 2010. But wanting to a) get paid, b) play for a winner and c) stay in the same spot is a lot of cake to have and hold all at the same time.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.