In years past, it was Minnesota Vikings fans that clamored for Larry Fitzgerald to join the team when his contract expired in Arizona. Consider it an annual offseason pastime.
Fans be damned — now Bleacher Report is formally echoing the same sentiment.
In a piece suggesting one transactional move that each NFL team should make after the First Wave of free agency, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport is all in on Fitzgerald “coming home” to Minnesota:
“The Minnesota Vikings already pilfered one veteran player from the Arizona Cardinals, agreeing to terms on a one-year pact with former Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson. Now they should go back to that pool once more and bring in a player who would be a massive hit with the Minnesota fanbase and a sneaky-good upgrade for the offense. The Vikings already possess one of the better one-two punches at wide receiver in Adam Thielen and electrifying youngster Justin Jefferson. But with all due respect to Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe, the slot situation could use some work. At 37, Larry Fitzgerald is no longer the player who recorded 100-plus receptions five times, posted nine 1,000-yard seasons and made 11 Pro Bowls. But as recently as two years ago, he put up a 75/804/4 line with the Redbirds, and he has thrived in the slot in the latter stages of his career. Signing the Minneapolis native and former Vikings ball boy makes quite a bit of sense.”
The Vikings have not rostered a notable WR3 like other NFL teams since Jarius Wright left the organization three years ago. And even he wasn’t overly productive. Wright was a clutch-catch savant, but he was not a splashy WR3 like some NFL teams showcase.
Fitzgerald – no matter his age – would provide a presence with the 2021 Vikings. He is not very fast these days, nor does he approach 1,000 receiving yards [or anything like it]. But he is incredibly consistent, evidenced by proclamations by many that his hands are among the best that the NFL has ever witnessed.
The allure surrounding his name is an instant upgrade to anybody the Vikings have on the docket in 2021 for WR3. Of course, that doesn’t mandate Fitzgerald will nab 900 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, but the Vikings would be tickled to have somebody nominated as the clear-cut WR3. The 2021 roster — if Fitzgerald is not signed — will put forth a hodgepodge of Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe at WR3. Vikings fans call this — the usual.
What’s more, the 2021 NFL Draft is another deep event for wide-receiver talent, so Minnesota could scoop a rookie wideout out of the festivities in Cleveland next month. But the team has more glaring needs at offensive line, safety, and perhaps at EDGE rusher to address than WR3.
Fitzgerald-to-the-Vikings is at its pinnacle of feasibility because Patrick Patterson — Fitzgerald’s teammate for 10 years — joined the Vikings last week via free agency.
Because of Fitzgerald’s age, 37, this is the last opportunity for onlookers to see the long-time Cardinals wideout wear purple. The buzz has merely picked up in recent days due to the Peterson addition.