Concerns about rookie Kyler Murray’s durability should prompt the Arizona Cardinals to upgrade at the backup quarterback spot
For the third consecutive year, the Arizona Cardinals will be rolling with a new starting quarterback. Kyler Murray, the first-overall pick of the 2019 draft, will be assuming that role this fall. With that, however, comes a legitimate concern for the Cards.
Murray, at 5’10 and 207 pounds, is extremely undersized for an NFL signal-caller. There are those who have doubts that the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner can make it through an entire season without getting injured. With that in mind, the Cardinals’ front office would be smart to upgrade the depth behind the diminutive Murray.
As it stands now, the top replacement for Arizona’s new face of the franchise is the underwhelming Brett Hundley. The former Green Bay Packer, a fifth-round pick in 2015, has just nine professional starts on his resume. Hundley won only three of those matchups, subbing for an injured Aaron Rodgers in 2017.
The other two passers on the roster have no pro experience whatsoever. Second-year player Chad Kanoff spent most of 2018 on the practice squad. Murray State’s Drew Anderson just signed with the Cards as an undrafted free agent this past weekend.
If general manager Steve Keim decides to make a move, there’s an option that could make some sense. Cardinals’ head coach Kliff Kingsbury has a history with Case Keenum, a veteran that the Washington Redskins acquired just last month. But thanks to something that occurred during the draft, the quarterback’s services may no longer be needed in the nation’s capital.
The Redskins were pleasantly surprised by the fact that Ohio State gunslinger Dwayne Haskins fell to them in the first round. It would not be a surprise if the team decides to let the 15th-overall selection take the starting reigns as a rookie. With a capable backup like Colt McCoy still on the roster, it may not make sense for the Redskins to keep Keenum around as well.
Keenum, who has 54 NFL starts under his belt, would certainly be an upgrade over Hundley. The 31-year old is also familiar with the Cards’ new “Air Raid” offense from his college days. Keenum and Kingsbury spent four seasons together (2008-11) at the University of Houston while Arizona’s new leader was an offensive assistant there.
It probably wouldn’t cost the Cards much to acquire Keenum in a trade. If the organization has playoff aspirations for 2019, then upgrading at the backup quarterback spot is almost a necessity. Until Murray proves he can stay healthy, grabbing some quality insurance for him would seem to be a logical move.