Arizona Cardinals: Does Jonathan Gannon or Kyler Murray have more pressure in 2024?

The pressure is slowly heating up for Jonathan Gannon and Kyler Murray.

Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles
Arizona Cardinals v Philadelphia Eagles / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Arizona Cardinals will be an intriguing team in the NFL to watch for in free agency and the draft in April. It is the second year of Jonathan Gannon as the head coach and he will have the chance to show what he can build in Arizona now that quarterback Kyler Murray is back under center rather than recovering from his ACL injury that he suffered in December of 2022.

The 2024 season should be a season of finding growth now that the Cardinals are not in an awkward phase where they do not have their starting quarterback for half of the season and their head coach did not have any head coaching experience coming into the job. With half of a season together, the duo of Gannon and Murray will have the chance to show what they can do together in the NFC West.

Once the free agency period hits next month, general manager Monti Ossenfort will need not only surround Murray with reliable weapons on the offense, but also build a defense that was near the bottom of the league overall last season for Gannon. Maybe Ossenfort does add valuable pieces to both sides of the ball, but it will be up to Murray and Gannon to take the next step forward.

Who faces more pressure in 2024, Gannon or Murray?

If the Cardinals do not find success next season and have a repeat of their 2024 season, there are going to be pointed fingers at both Gannon and Murray. It just depends on what ultimately happens for Arizona. Maybe the Cardinals' defense vastly improves under Gannon while Murray and the offense struggles. Or, it could be the complete opposite with Murray and the Arizona offense succeeds while the Cardinals' defense becomes the liability.

The NFL has become a short-leashed league where it is hard to come across multiple chances. Murray has yet to elevate the Cardinals to the next step within the playoffs, only reaching the postseason once which led to a distasterous performance against the Los Angeles Rams in 2021-2022.

Gannon was put in an unfair position when hired last season where he did not have a ton of success. Going into the season, Murray has more pressure because he has had the chance to do something special in Arizona but has come up short. Even though he has slowly improved each season up until 2022, it has not been enough.

While both Murray and Gannon will have some pressure this season, Murray faces more because he has more to lose, especially coming off a torn ACL injury.