Two major things happened to the Arizona Cardinals this past weekend and it did not include the loss to the hapless Denver Broncos.
The Arizona Cardinals received good news regarding quarterback Kyler Murray. His ACL tear appears to be clean, meaning he will most likely be ready to roll by Week 1. Initially, we were unsure of his status and if he would miss extended time during the 2023 season rehabbing.
Further, we learned that the Redbirds will at least by ready to move on from general manager Steve Keim (full article on this later). And by extension, this may also mean moving on from head coach Kliff Kingsbury as any new general manager may only come to the desert if it meant bringing in their own head coach.
That said, I am expecting Murray to stay and the Cardinals to move forward with the quarterback as the guy heading into 2023. Not that it means the Cardinals shouldn’t seek to sign a quarterback with starting-caliber ability during the offseason, one who will ideally push Murray or be ready to go if the incumbent can’t suit up for Week 1. But this indicates the potential new general manager will build around Murray.
Arizona Cardinals will add young talent to the offense around Murray
One reason I believe a potentially new general manager will bring in their own coach stems from the fact Murray is not a good fit for head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Murray was never an Air Raid quarterback, so look for a potential coaching change early here, ideally to find a coach willing to tailor to Murray’s strengths.
While I wouldn’t be surprised if the Arizona Cardinals traded receiver DeAndre Hopkins if the price was right, the Redbirds will still have a sound passing game with the likes of Marquise Brown, Greg Dortch, and Rondale Moore leading the way. Trading Hopkins means a big loss, but it also gives the Cardinals a chance to add a younger piece to the unit, as they would get a ransom in compensation.
Tight end Trey McBride has also come on strong over the past two weeks, catching seven of 11 targets for 83 yards, good for 11.85 yards per reception. The Redbirds can also use a mid-round pick for a running back who can enter a timeshare with James Conner. Conner has turned his 2022 season around, and he also appears to be poised to return in 2023.
That leaves the offensive line, where the Cardinals could have as many as three pieces returning for 2023. D.J. Humphries will be back, while Josh Jones and Lecitus Smith could potentially fill the second tackle and a guard spot, respectively. If the Cards land one marquee guard in the mid-rounds in April, and find a center to replace Rodney Hudson, this offense could impress next season.
But it all starts with finding the right coach and general manager to build a strong unit around Kyler Murray. With more young talent around him, Murray can turn his tumultuous fourth season in the league into a distant memory, and embark on one of the better career turnarounds in Arizona Cardinals history.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)
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