With Sidney Rice wanting to test free agency and All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald a free agent in 2012, there has been a vibe that we’d let Sidney walk and sign the beloved Fitz in 2012 to help bring excitement to Minnesota and possibly break in a new stadium. Dan has done an excellent job on the subject not once but twice quoting Fitzgerald as saying that his first choice would be to stay in Arizona however “playing for the Vikings would be a dream come true.”
But there have been some developments lately that will dim our hopes. Rewinding the clock through the 2011 season, Fitz was not a happy camper with the Arizona Cardinals. Quarterback Derek Anderson continued his hobby of playing dodgeball with his receivers with both Max Hall and John Skelton also showing minimal promises as rookies. According to our friends over at Pro Football Focus, Fitz only dropped 3 of 93 catchable balls that were thrown his way in 2011 and 93 isn’t cutting it for someone so talented. Fitz really missed the sacred Kurt Warner’s precise passes and leadership skills. So when Fitz was asked by the Cardinals brass in February which QB he’d like the team to go get this offseason his first wish was to go get Eagles backup Kevin Kolb.
Moving forward to the draft the Cardinals passed on rookie QBs in Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder to take studly cornerback Patrick Peterson. Then just recently we have learned that Kolb has worked out Fitzgerald this offseason, Kolb has shopped for homes in the desert and ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported “100% Kolb is traded and Arizona is the first, second and third most likely landing spot.” By the end of the weekend we may learn that Fitz and Kolb are adopting a baby together.
So what does this mean for Vikings fans? Don’t get your hopes up on Fitz being the Vikings version of Joe Mauer doing great things for his hometown team. It’s very rare that a front office will consult with a player on personnel moves, however when Fitz speaks folks listen. He’d would also be much more likely to sign a long-term deal with Arizona at the beginning of the season if Kolb is the only lining up under center.
Hopefully we pay Sidney the money he wants and then see the ’09 version of #18. That way we won’t be thinking of #11 Fitzgerald in purple. But if you want a #11 Vikings jersey now… Rumor has it there’s bunch of cheap Daunte Culpepper jerseys available on eBay.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig