Two years ago, the Arizona Cardinals placed all of their eggs into the basket of a new franchise quarterback. With the first-overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, general manager Steve Keim selected the University of Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. The talented signal-caller was fresh off of an outstanding campaign with the Sooners that that earned him the prestigious Heisman Trophy award.
Murray is now entering his third season as the Cards starter, and the organization couldn’t be happier with his performance. As a first-year player in ’19, the 5’10, 207 pounder was named Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. Murray threw for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns, and added another 544 yards and four scores on the ground in 16 starts for Arizona.
Last fall, Murray worked his way towards superstar status during his second year in the league. The 23-year old completed 67.2% of his passes for 3,971 yards and 26 touchdowns through the air. Murray dazzled with his legs as well, amassing 819 yards and another 11 scores as a runner.
A Pro Bowl awaited Murray following his sensational accomplishments in 2020. The Cardinals are hoping it’s just the first of many for the electrifying player. Big Red’s depth at quarterback behind Murray, however, leaves a lot to be desired.
If the Cards are serious about being a contender for the Super Bowl, the front office has to improve the position’s backup situation. Chris Streveler, a former Canadian Football League star, is woefully overmatched at the NFL level. The fill-in job he did for Arizona during their playoff-killing loss to the Los Angeles Rams this past January was far from a confidence-builder.
Former Green Bay Packers draft choice Brett Hundley failed to dress in any contests for the Cardinals last season. The 27-year old is scheduled for free agency, and will likely move on. The Redbirds signed former University of Hawaii passer Cole McDonald to a futures contract last month, but the one-time Rainbow Warrior may be nothing more than a training camp arm.
A fantastic second-string quarterback option for the Cards would be Ryan Fitzpatrick, a free agent from the Miami Dolphins. Unfortunately, the 16-year journeyman is reportedly leaning towards retirement. Other possibilities include Cam Newton, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton and Jacoby Brissett.