He’ll be 35 when the 2018 season kicks off, but Fitzgerald just keeps rolling along. The future Hall-of-Famer is coming off his third consecutive 1,000-yard season and the ninth of his 14-year career. Fitzgerald finished second in the league in receptions last year behind only Jarvis Landry, and he led the league in 2016. Fitzgerald’s 161 targets last season were the most he’d seen since 2010, and with no other premium pass catchers on the Arizona roster, Fitz should be in for another generous target load. Amazingly, Fitzgerald has missed only two games over the last decade.
Fitzgerald is still a volume producer, but there isn’t much sizzle to his game anymore, now that he’s in his mid-30s. His TD production has slowed down, and he’s averaged 10.1 yards per catch over the last two years. Fitzgerald was a target monster in the offense designed by former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. But Arians retired after the 2017 season, and it remains to be seen how new head coach Steve Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy will deploy Fitzgerald. And after building such a strong rapport with the now-retired Carson Palmer, Fitz will also have to establish chemistry with new Cards QB Sam Bradford.
Fitzgerald has aged better than a high-end Bordeaux. He’s been a PPR machine in recent years and could be again in 2018, but the concerns about Fitz for this season have more to do with the change in quarterbacks and play callers than with his age.