Arizona Cardinals: Every Individual Award Winner in Franchise History
By Kyler Burd
The Arizona Cardinals have been around a long time, 124 years to be exact, and have produced zero NFL MVPs.
So before you let that sad fact sink in,
There will be names you are familiar with, and as we go farther and farther back, some names you might never have heard of. We will give you a brief synopsis of why the player won the award, but we encourage you to dig deep into the history of this team. You will find a lot of fascinating material.
Let’s get started!
AP Offensive Rookie of the Year
Anderson was awarded the AP Offensive Rookie of the year after a fantastic season for a running back in 1979. Over 1,600 yards and eight touchdowns capped off the hot start to what would be an impressive 14-year career in the NFL, eight of those years with the then St. Louis Cardinals.
His fantastic rookie season didn’t just garner him the OROY, but he was also selected for the Pro Bowl, First-Team All-Pro, and was fourth in voting for Offensive Player of the Year.
Another 14-year career started off their time in the NFL by winning the OROY while with the Arizona Cardinals. Anquan Boldin slipped in the 2003 Draft to the second round, but he exploded his rookie season in Arizona. Over 100 receptions, 1,377 yards, and eight touchdowns announced Boldin’s arrival to the big leagues and also sent him to the Pro Bowl that year.
Boldin played six more seasons in Arizona and was the perfect complement to 2004 first-round draft pick Larry Fitzgerald who quickly became the greatest receiver in franchise history. Boldin still had a remarkable career overall, spending time in Baltimore, San Francisco, and Detroit before retiring in 2017.
The most recent individual award given to an Arizona Cardinal was the 2019 OROY given to quarterback Kyler Murray. Well-deserved after taking a 3-13 team to the next offensive level, Murray had 3,722 passing yards and 544 rushing yards to combine for 24 touchdowns.
Murray, the most dynamic quarterback in recent franchise history, brought offensive hope to the desert. He was paired with a young coach in Kliff Kingsbury in one of the riskiest experiments in the history of the team. So far, that experiment has worked out rather well, and the 11-6 finish in 2021 ended in the first playoff appearance for the Cardinals since 2015.
It seems likely that Murray will receive a massive contract extension this offseason making him the long-term solution at the most important position in football.