Larry Fitzgerald restructures deal


TEMPE, Ariz. -- The face of the Arizona Cardinals stayed true to his word Tuesday.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald signed a restructured contract with the Cardinals, apparently relieving them of his $18 million cap hit the team was scheduled to take in 2014.

Fitzgerald tweeted the news Tuesday afternoon and the Cardinals later confirmed it.

According to multiple reports, Fitzgerald's base salary was reduced to $1 million and he received an $11.75 million signing bonus. That shrunk his cap hit to $8.6 million for 2014, but, at the same time, increased his annual cap hit by $2.35 million each year.

Fitzgerald is scheduled to receive an $8 million roster bonus in 2015. The $120 million contract he signed in 2011 is set to expire in 2018, but the final two years are options.

While making the media rounds at the Super Bowl last week in New York, Fitzgerald said, "I'll do what I need to do" to help the Cardinals alleviate the stress of his cap numbers. He was scheduled to make $12.75 million base salary in 2014 with the $18 million cap. In 2015, an $8 million base was to be accompanied with an $8 million roster bonus and a $21.25 million cap hit.

In 2016, Fitzgerald was scheduled to earn a $15 million base with an $18.25 million cap number. And in 2017, the final year of his $120 million contract, Fitzgerald was expected to earn $14.75 million base, which came with a $15 million cap hit.

Fitzgerald said in New York that he wanted to help the Cardinals free up money to bring back the likes of veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby and defensive end Frostee Rucker.

And with this being the first offseason the Cardinals can enter into negotiations with third-year cornerback Patrick Peterson, Fitzgerald said Peterson "needs to be compensated as the best corner in the game, which I feel he is."