Larry Fitzgerald is now in a rarefied group of NFL receivers. He caught his 100th career touchdown pass Sunday, making him the 10th player in league history to ever hit the milestone.
Fitzgerald made his 99th career touchdown catch, a 3-yard reception from quarterback Carson Palmer, in the second quarter of the Cardinals' Sunday Night Football matchup with the New England Patriots. His 100th TD catch came in the fourth quarter as the Cardinals fought to take a lead. The 1-yard Fitzgerald catch and subsequent PAT gave the Cardinals a one-point lead over the Patriots.
Though Fitzgerald is still exceptionally productive, he reportedly expects to retire at the end of the season. The recent announcement was a surprise considering he signed a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals in August. It also puts even more pressure on the Cardinals to deliver on their Super Bowl promise this year.
Arizona drafted Fitzgerald, 33, with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 Draft after he posted a sensational sophomore season at the University of Pittsburgh. He quickly developed into one of the game's best receivers, reeling in a league-leading 103 receptions in 2005. Fitzgerald has recorded at least 90 receptions in a season on six occasions.
In addition to his eye-popping regular season production, Fitzgerald has been a force in the playoffs. He was an integral part of the Cardinals' improbable 2009 Super Bowl run, catching three touchdown passes in the first half of the NFC Championship. No other player in history has accomplished that feat.
But Fitzgerald's high point may have come last year, when he defeated the Green Bay Packers all by himself in the Divisional Round. His overtime performance, which featured a 75-yard reception followed by a game-winning touchdown, will go down as one of the greatest of all-time.
After a disappointing 2014 campaign, it seemed as if Fitzgerald was on the back nine. But his career was rejuvenated once he moved to the slot on a more regular basis last season. It appears as if Fitzgerald will truly retire on top.