Cardinals’ Fitzgerald accepts restructured deal

Posted Feb. 04, 2014, at 6:51 p.m.

The Arizona Cardinals and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald agreed on a restructured contract Tuesday that will give the team additional salary cap space.

Financial details were not announced, but Fitzgerald’s previous contract was projected to count more than $18 million against the cap in 2014.

“Back in AZ from #SB48 & the 1st order of business this AM was signing a restructured contract to help the @AZCardinals get better for 2014!” Fitzgerald tweeted.

It is expected that part of Fitzgerald’s $12.75 base salary would go into a signing bonus that extends through the end of the contract. The restructuring would potentially give the Cardinals from $7 million to $8 million in available cap space.

The 30-year-old Fitzgerald played in all 16 regular-season games last season and had 82 receptions for 954 yards and 10 touchdowns as the Cardinals (10-6) fell just short of making the playoffs.

In 10 seasons with the Cardinals, the perennial Pro Bowl receiver has 846 catches for 11,367 yards and 87 touchdowns.

Super Bowl audience adjusted

The average audience for Super Bowl XLVIII increased to 112.2 million viewers, up from 111.5 million reported the day before, according to final Nielsen numbers released Tuesday.

The old number was already record-breaking for viewers watching the Seattle Seahawks’ dominant 43-8 win over the Denver Broncos 43-8. It was the most watched of any television program in U.S. history.

The household rating now stands at 46.7, up from a 46.4 based on fast nationals issued Monday.

Super Bowl XLVIII now ranks alone as seventh highest-rated Super Bowl ever. At 46.4, it had been tied for seventh best. The 69 share reported Monday is unchanged.

It is not uncommon for the final national figures to deviate from the fast national by roughly 1 percent. In most cases, the difference is insignificant, but with an audience the size of the Super Bowl, the adjustment can result with the ratings and audience being altered.

The game surpassed the previous mark of 111.3 million set by a much more closely contested Super Bowl XLVI (New York Giants-New England Patriots) on NBC.

The game is also now the most-watched program ever on Fox, breaking the 111.0 million viewer mark the network set for Super Bowl XLV (Green Bay Packers-Pittsburgh Steelers). Three of the last four Super Bowls set average viewership records.

Report: Hickey got 2-year contract

The Miami Dolphins only gave new general manager Dennis Hickey a two-year contract, ESPN.com reported Tuesday.

The usual contract length for new NFL general managers ranges between three to five years.

Stephen Ross, the Dolphins’ chairman of the board and managing general partner, announced Hickey’s hiring on Jan. 26.

Ross interviewed four finalists before hiring Hickey. Offers reportedly were made to New England Patriots executive Nick Cesario and Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, but both individuals turned down the position. Another finalist, Cleveland assistant general manager Ray Farmer, denied a second interview, opting to stay with the Browns.

Hickey was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers director of player personnel. His role with the Bucs was in question after they hired new head coach Lovie Smith and new general manager Jason Licht.

Hickey’s shortened contract is parallel to the two years remaining on Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin’s deal. Philbin is 15-17 in two seasons.

Hickey replaced Jeff Ireland, who parted ways with the Dolphins after six years.

 

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