After watching an NFC West rival win the Super Bowl, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald returned to Arizona on Tuesday and did something that could help his team get to the promised land: Fitzgerald restructured his contract.
The specific terms of the new deal haven't been announced yet, but before the restructuring, Fitzgerald was set to count $18 million against the Cardinals 2014 salary cap. According to the Arizona Republic, Fitzgerald agreed to a deal that will create about $10 million in cap space for the Cardinals in 2014, but the restructuring won't require him to take a pay cut.
Fitzgerald had talked about possibly taking a pay cut last week.
"When those discussions come I will do what I need to do," Fitzgerald told KMVP-FM in Arizona. "I have a great relationship with (general manager) Steve Keim, he drafted me in Arizona. I understand his vision and what he is trying to do and the direction he is taking this ballclub. I understand at 30 years old there are things that need to change. That's part of football, that's part of being an older veteran."
Although the wide receiver was going to count $18 million against the cap, the team could only restructure up to $12.75 million because that's what Fitzgerald's base salary was going to be in 2014. The other $5.25 million is bonus money that's already been paid.
If the Cardinals hadn't been able to restructure with Fitzgerald, they would have only had about $2 million in cap money available when free agency begins in March, according to the team's official website.