Arizona Cardinals fans shouldn’t fret over losing Byron Murphy Jr.

Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders
Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

Two Arizona Cardinals fan favorites have signed deals elsewhere in Zach Allen and Byron Murphy Jr. But fans shouldn’t fret over the latter.

Last night, it became official. During my evening gym session, my phone buzzed, informing me that former Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr signed for two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. And while this might be disheartening to some in the Red Sea, you really shouldn’t lose sleep over this one. 

Before I dive into why this should be the case, it’s appropriate to recognize just how valuable Murphy was for a couple of seasons in the desert. During his rookie year in 2019, the corner allowed an astonishing nine touchdowns and a 111.2 quarterback rating, but he also gave up a respectable 9.7 yards per completion, and 6.7 yards per target. 

In Years 2 and 3, Murphy’s numbers, to a degree, improved, having allowed a 92.5 and 87.5 passer rating, respectively. But he also gave up 10.2 and 11.4 yards per completion in that same span. Murphy also recorded four interceptions during that time, but overall, he was, for the most part, an up-and-down corner. 

Byron Murphy was okay for the Arizona Cardinals

For some reason, many considered Murphy to be a legitimate CB1, and I even hopped onto this bandwagon for a time. But when you dive in and dissect the numbers, Murphy only had one great year with the Redbirds, that year being 2021. 

Then came 2022, when he started just nine games, as injuries derailed his campaign. And while Murphy allowed just 9.4 yards per completion and 6.0 yards per target, he also gave up four touchdowns in half a season, and a 103.1 quarterback rating. 

Perhaps injuries were a catalyst, but Murphy regressed in 2022. That said, it’s quite the risk to ink a corner who regressed performance-wise and struggled with injuries to a two-year, $22 million contract that the Vikings signed him to. 

Overall, Murphy just hasn’t proven himself well enough to warrant such money. And if the numbers shown above were his demands with the Cardinals, it was smart for general manager Monti Ossenfort to let him walk and use those assets elsewhere. 

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Source: Vikings to Sign Ex-Cardinals CB Byron Murphy to Two-Year Contract, per Report by Wilton Jackson,

(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)