Posted by Bob Harris
Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 8:10pm
Fitzgerald is entering his 15th season and will be playing for his fourth head coach in Steve Wilks. The veteran raved about Wilks and his staff, including OC Mike McCoy. As ESPN.com's Mike Clay recently noted, during the past nine seasons, three-quarters of the touchdowns scored in McCoy's offenses have been passes (including at least 76 percent in five of the past six years). That should be good news for Fitzgerald, who just gets better with age, posting his best regular seasons in years 12, 13, and 14, with 109, 107, and 109 catches. If the season goes as planned, Sam Bradford will become the 15th quarterback to throw a touchdown pass to Fitzgerald, although rookie first-round pick Josh Rosen is also in the QB mix. Think about this: If Fitz has a 2018 season similar to his last three, he'll finish the year with close to 200 more receptions and 500 more receiving yards than any wideout who ever played in the NFL other than Jerry Rice. While Rice played with Steve Young and Joe Montana for most of his career, Fitzgerald has lined up alongside less-talented throwers, the best of which (Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer) only account for 51 percent of his career games.
Fitzgerald will be working in a new scheme and it's not clear if McCoy will use Fitzgerald in precisely the same way as Bruce Arians, who moved the veteran into the slot, did in recent seasons.
2018 Bottom Line
The concerns at this point are minor. His age is worth noting, but in the five seasons he's played since turning 30, Fitzgerald has only missed three games due to injury, all of which occurred in 2014. Beyond that, the lack of a strong wide receiving corps in Arizona hasn't limited Fitz in the past and it seems unlikely to be an issue again. The biggest worry? There will be no discounts for fantasy managers this season.