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Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald: A Brief Biography

Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr. is a former American football wide receiver. Fitzgerald played in the National Football League for 17 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and was drafted by the Cardinals as the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He is widely considered by fans, coaches and peers to be one of the greatest receivers in NFL history.

Fitzgerald has been selected for the Pro Bowl eleven times. He was named First-team All-Pro in 2008 and Second-team All-Pro twice in 2009 and 2011. He is second in NFL career receiving yards, second in career receptions, and sixth in receiving touchdowns.

Fitzgerald became a minority owner of the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association in 2020.

Larry Fitzgerald’s Early Life and Background

Larry started off his career early, albeit as a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings, a role he’s attributed to being like an on-the-job experience for the youngster. He played high school football at the Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield, Minnesota where he received two First-team All-State selections at WR. He spent a year at Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania to officially meet the NCAA requirements. Fitzgerald eventually attended the University of Pittsburgh and was widely considered one of the best WRs in college football from 2002 to 2003.

Fitzgerald was an instant contributor, right from his freshman season, where he tallied a Big East conference-leading 69 receptions for 1,005 yards and twelve touchdowns. His sophomore season, however, was on a whole other level. With a Big-East Conference-leading 92 receptions for 1,672 receptions and an NCAA-leading 22 touchdowns, Larry was recognized as the best player in the NCAA with the 2003 Walter Camp Award and the Chic Harley Award, as well as the Biletnikoff Award, rewarded as the best WR in college football. He was a unanimous All-America selection and was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. Fitzgerald set a new Pitt record with 34 receiving touchdowns over his collegiate career and was the first player in school history with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons and had the most games with 100 yards in Panthers history. His 18 straight games with at least one touchdown is an NCAA record. His #1 jersey was retired by the University of Pittsburgh in 2013, becoming the ninth Pittsburgh player to receive the honor.

Who Drafted Larry Fitzgerald?

Even though he had played college football for just two years without redshirting, Larry petitioned the NFL to allow him to enter the 2004 NFL Draft. The NFL granted an exception, as Fitzgerald convinced the NFL that the time he spent at VFMA, combined with his time at Pitt, was a minimum of three years removed from high school. After his tremendous sophomore year, Fitzgerald was drafted third overall in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals, whose coach, Dennis Green, knew Fitzgerald from his time as a Vikings ball boy. He was the first WR selected in the draft.

Larry Fitzgerald’s NFL Journey

The Arizona Cardinals chose Fitzgerald with the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, and he has played his entire professional career for the team. He has been selected for the Pro Bowl ten times, and currently ranks fourth all-time in NFL history in receiving yards per game for a career (76.0 yards per game), behind Andre Johnson, Torry Holt, and Marvin Harrison. A mainstay for the Falcons, Fitzgerald holds almost every record for the Cardinals, with the official count being over 40. A three-time All-Pro selection, Larry is universally recognized as one of the best WRs to ever play in the NFL.

Larry Fitzgerald's teams

Arizona Cardinals (2004-2020)

Larry started off his rookie season strong, becoming the youngest player to record at least two touchdown receptions in a single game, a record that has since been broken. Overall, he finished his rookie season with 59 receptions for 780 yards and eight touchdowns, before significantly improving those numbers with an NFL-leading 103 receptions for 1,409 yards, and ten touchdowns. He was named to his first Pro Bowl, and along with Anquan Boldin, became just the second tandem from the same team, after Herman Moore and Brett Perriman, to each catch over 100 passes and top the 1,400-yard mark. His 2006 season was marred with injury but he still finished with 69 receptions for 946 yards and six touchdowns. He returned to form the next year with a Pro Bowl selection courtesy of his 100 caught passes for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns. At the conclusion of the season, he signed a four-year, $40 million extension with the Cardinals, and started earning the nickname “Sticky Fingers” and “The Best Hands in the NFL”. The 2008 season marked a huge year for Fitzgerald in terms of individual accomplishment and team success. He totaled seven games going over the 100-yard mark, including two games eclipsing the 150-yard barrier. In addition, he had three games where the caught two touchdown passes and finished the season with 96 total receptions for 1,431 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdowns. In his first playoffs, Fitzgerald tied an NFL record with three touchdowns during the NFC Championship Game. Fitzgerald set a single postseason record with 546 receiving yards, 30 receptions, and seven touchdowns. He continued his great season by earning 2009 Pro Bowl MVP honors. He was named a First-team All-Pro.

He followed up his career year with 5 straight Pro Bowl selections for a combined 420 receptions, 5,392 receiving yards, and 41 touchdowns, thereby cementing his position in most history books as one of the best WRs to ever grace the football field. He amassed a 2011 Second-team All-Pro selection, and the 2012 Cardinals’ Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Due to inconsistent quarterback play, Fitzgerald finished the 2014 season with 63 receptions for 784 yards and two touchdowns.
On February 18, 2015, Fitzgerald was signed to a new multi-year contract worth at least $11 million guaranteed over the next two seasons. He followed up the extension with a return to form, becoming the youngest player to reach 1,000 career receptions in week 13. He finished the season with 109 receptions, 1,215 yards, and nine touchdowns. He won his ninth Pro Bowl honor. On August 5, 2016, Fitzgerald signed a one-year, $11 million contract extension with the Cardinals, and led the NFL in receptions for the season with 107, going for 1,023 yards with six receiving touchdowns. He moved from 11th to 3rd on the all-time career reception list, and ended the season ninth all-time in receiving yards, earning his 10th career Pro Bowl. The next season, Larry tied a career-best 109 receptions for 1,156 yards, and was named to his 11th Pro Bowl, after signing a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals worth $11 million.

Fitzgerald entered the twilight of his career from 2018 onwards, with a downward trend. In Week 14, he set an NFL record for most receptions with one team with 1,282. His gloves and the ball he caught were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He finished the season with 69 receptions for a career-low 734 yards, and six touchdowns. He signed one-year contract extensions for 2019 and 2020, with his play steadily dropping with the emergence of Christian Kirk. Overall, Fitzgerald appeared in 13 games in the 2020 season and finished with a career-low 54 receptions for 409 receiving yards and one touchdown. On February 16, 2022, despite not officially stating that he was retiring, Fitzgerald admitted he was not planning on returning to play in the NFL.

Larry Fitzgerald Awards and Honours

2016Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
2008First-team All-Pro
2009, 2011Second-team All-Pro
2005, 2007-2013, 2015-2017Pro Bowl
2005, 2006NFL Receptions Leader
2008, 2009NFL Receiving Touchdowns Leader
2014Art Rooney Award
2003Biletnikoff AwardWalter Camp AwardBig East Offensive Player of the YearUnanimous All-AmericanFirst-team All-Big East
2002Insight Bowl champion
LegacyNFL 2010s All-Decade TeamNFL 100th Anniversary All-Time TeamPittsburgh Panthers No.1 retired

Larry Fitzgerald NFL Records

  • Seasons with 90+ receptions: 8

  • Third all-time, seasons with 100+ receptions (5; tied with four others)

  • Most touchdown receptions in a postseason: 7 (2008)

  • Most receptions in a postseason: 30 (2008)

  • Most postseason games with 150+ receiving yards: 3

  • Second all-time career receptions (1,432)

  • Second all-time career receiving yards (17,492)

  • Sixth all-time career receiving touchdowns (120)

  • Second all-time consecutive games with a reception (236)

  • Fewest games needed to score 10 postseason receiving touchdowns (8 games over 7 years)

  • Third all-time career postseason receiving touchdowns (10; tied with 4 others)

  • Second youngest player to reach 6,000 career receiving yards (26 years and 13 days)

  • Youngest player to reach 7,000 career receiving yards (26 years, 111 days)

  • Second youngest player to reach 8,000 career receiving yards (27 years, 110 days)

  • Second youngest player to reach 9,000 career receiving yards (28 years, 81 days)

  • Second youngest player to reach 10,000 career receiving yards (29 years, 34 days)

  • Youngest player to reach 11,000 career receiving yards (30 years, 85 days)

  • Second youngest player to record 700 receptions (29 years, 23 days)

  • Youngest player to record 800 receptions (30 years, 57 days)

  • Youngest player to record 900 receptions (31 years, 102 days)

  • Youngest player to record 1,000 receptions (32 years, 97 days)

  • Third youngest player to reach 70 career receiving touchdowns (28 years, 74 days)

  • First wide receiver in NFL history to record at least 150 career receptions against three different franchises (Seahawks, Rams, and 49ers)

  • Oldest player to record 100 reception, 1,000+ yard, 5+ TD season, with three consecutive seasons (2015–2017)

Cardinals franchise records

As of 2019's NFL off-season, Larry Fitzgerald held at least 40 Cardinals franchise records, including:

  • Most receptions (career): 1,378

  • Most receptions (season): 109 (2015 and 2017)

  • Most receptions (playoff career): 57

  • Most receptions (playoff season): 30 (2008)

  • Most receptions (playoff game): 9 (January 18, 2009, against the Philadelphia Eagles)

  • Most receiving yards (career): 17,492

  • Most receiving yards (playoff career): 942

  • Most receiving yards (playoff season): 546 (2008)

  • Most receiving yards (playoff game): 176 (January 16, 2016, against the Green Bay Packers)

  • Most yards per reception (playoff career): 16.53

  • Most yards per reception (playoff season): 18.2 (2008)

  • Most yards per reception (playoff game) (minimum five receptions): 22 (January 16, 2016, against the Green Bay Packers)

  • Most receiving TDs (career): 120

  • Most receiving TDs (playoff career): 10

  • Most receiving TDs (playoff season): 7 (2008)

  • Most receiving TDs (playoff game): 3 (January 18, 2009, against the Philadelphia Eagles)

  • Most receiving TDs (rookie season): 8 (2004)

  • Most receiving yards per game (playoff career): 104.7

  • Most receiving yards per game (playoff season): 136.5 (2008)

  • Most total TDs (career): 120

  • Most total TDs (playoff career): 10

  • Most total TDs (playoff season): 7 (2008)

  • Most total TDs (playoff game): 3 (tied with Mario Bates) (January 18, 2009, against the Philadelphia Eagles)

  • Most yards from scrimmage (career): 17,151

  • Most yards from scrimmage (playoff career): 942

  • Most yards from scrimmage (playoff season): 546 (2008)

  • Most yards from scrimmage (playoff game): 176 (January 16, 2016, against the Green Bay Packers)

  • Most all-purpose yards (career): 17,151

  • Most all-purpose yards (playoff career): 942

  • Most all-purpose yards (playoff season): 546 (2008)

  • Most 100+-yard receiving games (career): 49

  • Most 100+-yard receiving games (playoffs): 5

  • Most 100+-yard receiving games (season): 11 (2008)

  • Most 100+-yard receiving games (playoffs): 5

  • Most games with 1+ TD scored (career): 106

  • Most games with 1+ TD scored (season): 13 (2008)

  • Most games with 1+ TD scored (playoffs): 6]

  • Most games with 2+ TD scored (career): 22

  • Most games with 2+ TD scored (playoffs): 3

  • Most games with 3+ TD scored (playoffs): 1

  • Most seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards (career): 9

  • Most seasons with 1,000+ combined yards: 9

  • Most seasons with 10+ receiving touchdowns: 5

  • Most consecutive seasons scoring a touchdown: 17 (2004–2020)

  • Consecutive games with a catch: 256

Larry Fitzgerald's Net Worth

Larry Fitzgerald has an estimated net worth of $50 million. His endorsement deals have included several high-profile companies, like Nike, Lenovo, Rocket Mortgage, USAA, etc. He is also known to have business partnerships with Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Steak 44, among others. His ownership of the Phoenix Suns further boosts his business ventures. A large part of his net worth of course came from his playing career where he earned a cumulative $182 million over his career.

Larry Fitzgerald's family

Fitzgerald grew up around sports while he was a child, thanks, in large, part to his father’s career as a sportswriter in the Minnesota area. Fitzgerald Sr. has worked in print and radio for over three decades, serving as the sports editor and columnist for the Minnesota Spokesman-Reocrder. His current column, the Fitz Beat, appears weekly in the Spokesman-Recorder.

Fitzgerald first made it into the national spotlight during his college years and a prolific career at Pittsburgh, but there is one moment during those years that will always stick with the wideout.

April 9. His father called. There was a ticket waiting for him to fly home to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fitzgerald’s father didn’t tell him why he needed to come home, but the then-college standout knew why. He went to practice anyway. He has since described it as the hardest practice he has gone through. That night, Fitzgerald flew home and found his mother, Carol, in a cancer-induced coma. She had been battling the disease for seven and a half years before it spread the breast cancer spread to her lungs and brain. She passed away at the age of 47. Carol was an enormous figure in her young son’s life. She not only started the African-American AIDS Task Force in Minneapolis, sparking Fitzgerald’s own charitable efforts, but she was his biggest fan on the football field and helped him focus on both sports and academics. Fitzgerald and his family hold an annual event in his mother’s honor each year, Carol’s Night, in Minneapolis with all proceeds going towards urban education related to HIV/AIDS as well as breast cancer research.

Popularly Asked Questions

1. Who is Larry Fitzgerald?

Larry Fitzgerald is known as an American Football Player. Larry Fitzgerald was born on 31 August 1983 and presently Larry Fitzgerald is 39 years old.

2. What is Larry Fitzgerald's Net Worth?

Larry Fitzgerald has a net worth of $50 Million.

3. What is Larry Fitzgerald's weight?

Larry Fitzgerald the successful American Football Player weighs 99 kg.

4. How tall is Larry Fitzgerald?

Larry Fitzgerald stands 1.91 m tall.

5. How old is Larry Fitzgerald?

Larry Fitzgerald was born on 31 August 1983. He is 39 years old.

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Last Modified May 10, 2023 20:26 IST