"I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t," Arians said. "We definitely, desperately want him to stay. He knows that. It’s really his decision."
Fitzgerald has a salary cap hit of $23.6 million for 2015 and the team will work to get that number down in the offseason. Team president Michael Bidwill said this week contract talks won't start fully until after the Super Bowl.
"I’m hoping and praying every day that it does happen," Arians said. "I’ve expressed to him personally how much it means to us."
Fitzgerald has not reached 1,000 yards receiving in the past three seasons and totaled 784 in 2014 on 63 catches with two touchdowns.
"I think there is definitely mutual interest in getting something worked out," Bidwill said Thursday during a radio interview, per the team's official website. "Larry and I have had conversations. I know he's had conversations with (coach) Bruce (Arians) and (general manager) Steve Keim. (Larry) is traveling right now, but I think at the appropriate time we'll get this worked out.
"I know our fans are anxious and lot of media is out there talking, but I'd just say, everyone, relax a little bit. We'll get this worked out. I feel good about it. My goal from the beginning was to have Larry Fitzgerald retire as a Cardinal when he is ready to retire many years from now. I am feeling confident something will get worked out."
"I’m sure we’ll get it worked out," Bidwill said to KTAR 92.3. "We’ve had a couple of conversations that I think were productive so we’ll continue those discussions or at least (general manager) Steve Keim and his agent will."
Fitzgerald has a $23.6 million cap hit in 2015 and is due $16.25 in base salary.
"Without getting into too much, I think it’s perfect for us and it’s perfect for him," Bidwill said. "And we should be able to work this out."
Fitzgerald had 63 catches for 784 yards with two touchdowns in 14 games in 2014.
"It has not crossed my mind," Fitzgerald said Wednesday as the team prepares for its wild-card game Saturday against the Panthers. "I'm in the midst of an opportunity that doesn't come too often, so all my energy and everything is focused on helping my team win."
General manager Steve Keim confirmed last week a Pro Football Talk report the Cardinals have no plans to release Fitzgerald despite a $23.6 million cap number next season, which would account for about 17 percent of the projected $141 million salary cap.
According to the report, it is unlikely Fitzgerald will restructure his contract again. Fitzgerald would have counted for $18 million against the salary cap in 2014, but he agreed to a deal that created about $10 million in cap space by converting salary to bonus money.
"I don't think it's any secret that we've said all along it's our intent to have Larry Fitzgerald retire a Cardinal," Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "I don't want to get into it too deep, but with planning purposes, financially, from a cap standpoint, all those sorts of things, we have Larry's number already baked into our numbers."
"We've had ongoing talks with (Fitzgerald's agent) Eugene Parker, and we will continue to have ongoing talks. Even though it's still not 2015, it's my job to look at 2015, '16, '17 and years beyond, and we have to make good business decisions."
Fitzgerald caught two passes for 29 yards during the contest. He was targeted just four times. Fitzgerald has been battling a knee injury in recent weeks, but has managed to play through the pain. He finishes the year with just 63 catches, which is his lowest total since his rookie season. Fitzgerald gained 784 yards and scored two touchdowns.
He'll take on the Panthers in the playoffs next week. Carolina is favored by -4.5 points.
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