Last year during the playoffs, a rumor about the Patriots chasing Larry Fitzgerald before the trade deadline emerged. It made sense given the Pats need at wideout. But it did not make Cardinals GM Steve Keim happy.
Fitzgerald said, as part of an extended interview with USA Today's Tom Pelissero, he heard "nothing at all" about a possible trade to the Patriots.
"Nothing at all. I mean, I heard stuff that was being said," Fitzgerald said. "But there was never a time where the team approached me. Nothing like that."
Moving Fitzgerald would be a blockbuster deal; he's one of the bigger names in the NFL and one of the best wide receivers in the league despite suppressed statistics the past two years (Fitz had 1,752 yards the past two seasons, just 341 more yards than he had in 2011).
But his future in Arizona certainly isn't guaranteed. An offseason contract restructuring means Fitzgerald's cap hit for 2015 will be an untenable $23.6 million. With Michael Floyd emerging as a viable star receiver, paying Fitz that sort of cash just won't work.
Fitzgerald, for his part, says he isn't approaching next year any differently.
"[I view 2014] like I view every year. I just cherish every moment I have on the field," Fitzgerald said. "It's what I love to do. I really enjoy it. It's fun to go out there and compete and be around the guys every day. I just cherish that. So, whatever happens after the season, happens after the season. But most of that stuff is out of my control anyway."
It's all he can do, really. Rumors will pop up and people will discuss whether Fitz ends up staying with the Cardinals past 2014. If Arizona doesn't play well early, trade winds might begin blowing, too.
It's the nature of the business, even if Fitzgerald hasn't actually heard anything about it.