The Arizona Cardinals have a keeper in Kyler Murray, but not much promise behind him.
To win in the NFL, you need a franchise quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals have one in Kyler Murray. Is Murray an elite quarterback? No. But is he say, a fringe starter like Mitchell Trubisky? Absolutely not.
The Cardinals have a player they can not only build around but a quarterback who can raise the talents of everyone around him. And Murray did so often in 2020 with a mediocre supporting cast besides Second-Team All-Pro DeAndre Hopkins.
Murray ran out of gas as the season reached its final stretch with a poor performance against the San Francisco 49ers in week 16. He barely played a quarter in the week 17 debacle against the Los Angeles Rams because of an ankle injury.
Behind him is Chris Streveler, whose last stop before his stint with the Cardinals was the Canadian Football League. Streveler tossed for 8 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in a timeshare with Zach Collaros, but his 66 percent completion percentage and running ability caught the Cardinals attention.
Streveler’s ability as a dual-threat quarterback allowed him to unseat Brett Hundley as the number two man on the depth chart. Obviously, his Taysom Hill type of ability meant the Cardinals could use him for similar packages.
Such packages never materialized, and instead, Streveler rode the bench. He saw action in week 17 when Murray went down and predictably struggled. Though he logged a 68.5 completion percentage and posted an 81.5 quarterback rating, his pick-six toward the end of the first half was the turning point in the 18-7 loss against the Rams.
And Streveler didn’t do much to help his cause in the third quarter, eventually leaving the game when Murray returned in the fourth. He also failed to solidify his status as a dependable backup quarterback to Murray.
Brett Hundley served as the third quarterback and did not play in 2020. Losing the backup job to Streveler will make you believe Hundley will continue his career elsewhere in 2021 since he will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins.
So what’s the state of the Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks? And where do they go from here?
They have the real deal in Murray, who will only continue to improve in 2021 if his improvement in 2020 served as an indicator. The Cardinals need to surround him with more talent. Especially at receiver. But Murray has solidified himself as the quarterback of the present.
The problem persists at backup quarterback. The Cardinals must find someone to replace the inefficient Streveler. Whether it’s through the NFL Draft, free agency, or both. Streveler has proven to be a camp arm and a healthy scratch on game day.
But the good news is that the Cardinals have their starter entrenched. Which is more than what about a dozen NFL teams can say. Find a legit backup and they will be fine.