Arizona Cardinals legend Larry Fitzgerald has purchased a minority share in the Phoenix Suns, the team announced in a statement on Wednesday.
"I have a special place in my heart for the Phoenix Suns and Mercury and I have a great deal of respect for [owner] Robert [Sarver]," Fitzgerald said in the statement. "He has become a dear friend and trusted confidante. He is a big part of why I am making this commitment."
Fitzgerald is good friends with Sarver, whom he met in 2005. Fitzgerald has since been a bit of an ambassador for the Suns, even advising the team on hirings and garnering public support for a stadium deal. Now, he figures to play a larger role within the organization, though ESPN reported that it won't happen until after his football career is over.
"Larry will serve as an advisor and resource to our business and basketball staff as well as Suns and Mercury players," Sarver told NFL.com on what he expects Fitzgerald's role will eventually be.
Fitzgerald, 36, signed a one-year contract to remain a Cardinal through at least the 2020 season. He has spent his entire 16-season career with the team, making 11 Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams.
Because of Fitzgerald and Sarver's long\time friendship, a purchase like this has been in the works for some time. In fact, when Fitzgerald was contemplating retirement in 2018, Sarver came calling about Fitzgerald's interest in an ownership stake.
"I had never really given it any thought before then," Fitzgerald told NFL.com. "I asked him to give me a little bit of time to think about it and wrap my mind around it. I thought it was a unique opportunity because I hadn't heard of many other [athletes] doing it, but I wanted to really think about it because it's a substantial capital commitment. It's not something small."
Fitzgerald joined Aaron Rodgers as the only active NFL players to own a share of an NBA team. Rodgers made an investment in the Milwaukee Bucks in 2018.