GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett and receiver Larry Fitzgerald entered the NFL in the 2004 draft class, but Dockett thinks Fitzgerald will have a longer career.
Good-naturedly, although obviously envious, he explained why.
"Larry, different position," Dockett said. "He plays wide receiver. Can play that ... as long as you damn want. Jerry Rice played what, 18 years?
For those really counting, Rice played 19 years across two centuries -- 1985-2004.
"And Larry is always in shape," Docket continued. "Larry can probably be 20 years in the (expletive) league. He never gets hit. He always falls down. He don't get tackled. "
Fitzgerald is also friendly with many players in the NFL, it was noted.
"Of course," Dockett said. "Get Pro Bowl votes and 600 receiving yards and be the starting wide receiver in the Pro Bowl. He's the (expletive) friendliest guy I've ever (expletive) met in my life.
"But my position is different. That position, you ain't going to have no friends. I'm very blessed at it. Unfortunately, I'm not 185 and 6-3 and can run and catch fade routes all game. I do the dirty work. I'm all good. I'm thankful for it. Somebody's got to do it."
Dockett's evaluation of Fitzgerald is a good one. In a recent survey by The Sports Xchange, Fitzgerald was named as the current Cardinals player most likely to be a candidate for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Full results of the survey will be released next week, but responses pointed out that in 10 years Fitzgerald has been to eight Pro Bowls and caught 846 passes for 11,367 yards and 87 touchdowns.
In 2008, he had the greatest postseason of any receiver in history, setting NFL records for receptions (30), yards (546) and receiving touchdowns (seven). He has scored nine touchdowns in six playoff games and leads the franchise in nearly every receiving category.