The Arizona Cardinals might’ve drafted Byron Murphy with intentions to move on from Patrick Peterson.
It’s been a good ride for Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals. Though that ride could continue for the foreseeable future, his recent headache inducing drama, and the team’s drafting of prolific cornerback Byron Murphy could signal the end of the ride in the desert.
Just days before the draft, Peterson re-kindled the rumors pertaining to a trade request out of Arizona. He originally asked for a trade just days before the 2018 trade deadline. Though he didn’t ask for a trade outright, Peterson commented on Instagram that he was frustrated with the team, and removed all mentions to the team on social media.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio then acknowledged that something is going on with Peterson and the Cardinals. Our very own Jim Koch described the on-going feud between the team and eight-time Pro-Bowl cornerback as a headache and noted that Peterson has turned
"into a diva. The Cardinals, to their credit, have always seemed to steer clear of selfish players. The message boards following the latest report seemed to indicate that even the organization’s fans may be getting tired of Peterson’s crybaby antics."
In the article, Koch acknowledged the situation but noted that the Cardinals are unlikely to trade Peterson, as quality cornerbacks aren’t easy to find. However, Byron Murphy could change that.
Though just a rookie, Murphy projects as a day-one starter for the Cardinals either in the slot or on the boundary. Most draft pundits considered him to be a day-one pick and the leader as the first cornerback to be selected. Pro Football Focus even rated him as their No. 6 overall prospect.
Though Murphy isn’t the biggest (5-foot-11, 190-pounds) or fastest (4.55 second 40-yard-dash) cornerback, his tape does the talking. He’s a physical player with a knack for finding the ball in the air, and feasts on quarterbacks and receivers alike in zone coverage.
Murphy has earned comparisons to star cornerbacks Kyle Fuller, Asante Samuels, Brent Grimes, Casey Hayward, and Janoris Jenkins. Like the five mentioned cornerbacks, Murphy is an instinctual player that knows when to jump passing lanes, and ultimately does his best work sitting in zone, where he can use those instincts.
Murphy is just a rookie, as of now his comparisons, playstyle, and everything else to define him is only potential. But, in the eyes of many, including myself, Murphy is the type of prospect that can bring a gritty attitude to defense and truly take over games.
If he works out, don’t be surprised to see the Cardinals dump Peterson in favor for a promising player on a rookie deal. Remember, Peterson’s contract runs through just the 2020 season. If the Cardinals view him as too old or too much of a headache to re-extend for big money, don’t be surprised if they ship him off closer to the trade deadline or next off-season.