A polarizing signal-caller like Kyler Murray may have been a factor in Sean Payton’s decision to pass on the Arizona Cardinals.
When it comes to quarterback Kyler Murray, the fanbase of the Arizona Cardinals seems to be completely divided. There are some who constantly defend the 25-year-old passer. Others feel that the Redbirds will never win a Super Bowl with the diminutive Murray leading the offense.
This past Tuesday, the “Red Sea” learned that Sean Payton had chosen the Denver Broncos over our beloved Cardinals. Many are wondering what may have influenced the highly-coveted head coach’s decision. Is it possible that the polarizing Murray caused Payton to steer clear of the Arizona desert?
It’s hard to deny that Murray is a talented individual. After all, the former Heisman Trophy winner was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year back in 2019. Murray followed that performance up with two-consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl following the Cards’ 2020 and 2021 campaigns.
The cracks in the signal-caller’s armor began to show in a big way last season. Murray amassed an ugly 3-8 win-loss record as the starter for the Cardinals. Not exactly what the franchise was expecting when they drafted Murray with the first-overall selection four years ago.
There was also an embarrassing incident that occurred on national television during Arizona’s Week 7 victory over the New Orleans Saints. During a second-quarter timeout, television caught Murray yelling “calm the (expletive) down” at head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Payton couldn’t have been impressed by such a disrespectful display out of the supposed leader of the Cards scoring attack.
New Arizona Cardinals coach will be stuck with quarterback Kyler Murray
The fact that Murray isn’t going anywhere for at least a couple of years couldn’t have made the Cardinals gig an attractive one in the eyes of Payton. In hindsight, Arizona’s front office should’ve thought twice about handing the 5 foot 10, 207 pounder a $230.5 million contract-extension last summer.
If they had waited, Payton would’ve had the option of moving on from Murray this offseason. And perhaps acquiring his own hand-picked QB with the club’s third-overall pick in the 2023 draft.
On top of all of that, Payton would’ve been inheriting a passer that is now damaged goods. Last December, Murray suffered a torn ACL that is threatening to cost him a handful of games next fall. Payton may have also been turned off when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Murray was in no rush to come back from the first major injury of his professional career.
When all was said and done, Payton chose a washed-up Russell Wilson over what the Cards had to offer at the position. With the tremendous uncertainty that is surrounding Murray, could you blame him?
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