Arizona Cardinals: 3 quarterbacks who could replace Kyler Murray in 2023
By Sion Fawkes
Farfetched as it sounds, there is a chance Kyler Murray won’t be in an Arizona Cardinals uniform next season despite his long-term contract.
It is no secret that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff KIngsbury have been at one another’s throats at varying points of the season. And while the duo insist everything is good between them, how many times have we heard that same storyline in the past from players who reportedly didn’t get along with their coaches or organizations?
That said, if the Cardinals trade Murray and dumped his contract onto someone else, it wouldn’t surprise me. However, this, in my opinion, is only a scenario if:
- Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim remain in the desert, or
- The Cardinals hire a coach whose system does not fit Murray’s skill-set.
Yesterday, I talked about three realistic coaching candidates for the Cardinals. Each of the three candidates, and in previous articles where we discussed Sean Payton, are those I can see wanting to work with Murray.
As for Kingsbury, I’m not holding my breath, though I also wouldn’t entirely rule it out. So let’s assume for a second that Kingsbury stays and instead, Murray goes elsewhere. Who lines up under center for the Cardinals next season? Here are three viable names.
1 – Jimmy Garoppolo – Most Realistic
I could see Garoppolo doing all he can to stay in the division, since it would give him an opportunity to play the San Francisco 49ers twice. Garoppolo also fits the mold of quarterbacks who have led the Arizona Cardinals to their most successful runs in franchise history.
An older quarterback who had made a few stops in the NFL, like Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer. And with a supporting cast that will include DeAndre Hopkins and Marquise Brown, history just might repeat itself. Hopefully with a Lombardi Trophy.
2 – Mike White – Least Desirable
If White continues to perform well for the New York Jets, I can see a multitude of teams entering a bidding war for his services. You should know the drill by now: Player has good half season, half the NFL’s general managers take the bait.
Again, this is a scenario assuming the Arizona Cardinals kept Kliff and Keim, traded Murray, and accumulated some cap space. But I can see someone like Keim gushing over White’s potential.
I’m by no means saying it would be smart to sign White to a massive deal assuming he performs well in just half a season. But something tells me that’s the exact thing that Keim would do if he shipped Murray to someone like Houston, a team I could say overpaying for the latter’s services.
3 – Lamar Jackson – Highly Unlikely, But Not Impossible
The likeliest scenario is that Jackson works out a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Just as the likeliest scenario is that Murray stays with the Arizona Cardinals.
But with no Kyler Murray to worry about in this scenario, that would open up the possibility that they can make a run at Jackson, whose market value sits at $42 million, though it could be as high as $50 million. By comparison, Murray’s AAV is $46.1 million.
As you know, Jackson has wanted a new contract from the Ravens for a while now, and they haven’t made enough progress. If, and this is a big if, the two sides can’t reach a deal when the new league year rolls around, Jackson could easily start entertaining offers. If Jackson looks to the league’s other 31 teams and the Cardinals moved Murray, expect Keim to make a push.
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