Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.

Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.

Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Fitzgerald would like to stay in Arizona

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Vikings fans Updated: July 8, 2011 - 3:47 PM

Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is a Minneapolis native who grew up working as a ballboy for the Vikings and attended Holy Angels High School.

Given his ties to the state, the Vikings might seem like a logical fit for Fitzgerald, who is entering the final season of a four-year, $40 million contract with the Cardinals. Fitzergald, though, said he is not thinking about leaving Arizona.

“I try to put it like this," he said. "I have one more year left on my deal, my job is to try to help the Arizona Cardinals win a championship and that’s my focus. I would like to play there. I’ve enjoyed my seven years there. If they want to keep me they’re going to have the first option to keep me. If they don’t, then obviously I have to find employment elsewhere.”

Asked if he ever thinks about playing for the Vikings, Fitzgerald said: “Honestly, I like coming home and just it being home. I go out with Adrian [Peterson] or Sidney [Rice] or Jared [Allen], guys like that, and they get mobed everywhere they go. I see how Joe [Mauer] gets mobbed everywhere. I’m good at just coming home and being able just to blend in and just being a regular guy. I kind of like that. So if it happened, it would obviously be a childhood dream come true, but if it doesn’t then I won’t lose any sleep over it.”

Fitzergald said he enjoys Phoenix, in part because he can often fly below the radar.

“It’s totally different because if you’re born here in Minnesota you are a Vikings fan," he said. "They give you a purple football and Arizona, nobody that lives in Arizona is from Arizona. Everybody is from Minnesota, Wyoming, Missouri. They are from all over the Midwest. You’re dealing with a lot of people that have Vikings affiliation. You went to the Vikings game down in Arizona two years ago. The whole stadium was Vikings fans. Everybody that is down there for the winter time is pulling for the Vikings. So it’s a little different.”



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