When Kyler Murray got back on the playing field back on November 12th, his audition to keep his job as the starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals began. In the six games he has played in, the two-time Pro Bowler has thrown for 1,305 yards and six touchdowns, and has also contributed another 187 yards and three scores on the ground. That's not awful production by any means, but the numbers are sort of pedestrian by Murray's standards.
From all accounts, the Cards' first-year regime is enamored with Murray. It's quite possible that head coach Jonathan Gannon and his assistants are cutting the 26-year-old passer some slack for his mediocre outings this fall. And there's a very good reason why.
In a nutshell, Murray has very little talent to work with at wide receiver. In fact, Arizona may be in possession of the worst group of wideouts in the NFL. If the franchise really wanted to get a fair assessment of Murray, why in the world would they saddle him with such a sorry crew of pass-catchers?
Much of the disappointment surrounding the position starts with Marquise Brown, Murray's former teammate at the University of Oklahoma. The two were supposed to accomplish great things together with the Redbirds, but "Hollywood" hasn't lived up to his end of the bargain. Brown will be a free agent at the end of the season, but his less-than-stellar play will likely lead to his exit from the Cardinals.
Arizona Cardinals must evaluate Kyler Murray with a competent contingent of wide receivers
Rondale Moore, a second-round draft choice of the Cards back in 2021, could also be on his way out of the desert. Offensive coordinator Drew Petzing has used the 23-year-old in a variety of ways, but the results have been unimpressive. With that type of resume, it's difficult to envision the 5 foot 7,180 pound Moore occupying a spot on the Arizona roster in 2024.
Early on in the current campaign, first-year pro Michael Wilson showed a whole lot of potential. At 6 foot 2, 213 pounds, the former Stanford University product had seemingly brought both size and strength to the Cardinals' undersized receiving corps. Unfortunately, Wilson hit a rookie wall, and all of the good vibes surrounding the youngster have been put on hold.
Zach Pascal, a free-agent addition who Gannon knew from the Philadelphia Eagles, has been a solid contributor to the Cards special teams unit. However, the 29-year-old's contributions on offense have been nonexistent. Pascal's deal with the club runs through next season, but it would not be surprising if management sent the one-trick pony packing during the offseason.
The one bright spot for Arizona at wideout is Greg Dortch, a 25-year-old who has spent the last three campaigns with the organization. Time after time, the 5 foot 7,175 pounder has answered the bell when his number has been called. Dortch will enter unrestricted free agency in '24, but it would behoove the Cardinals to keep him in the fold.
Murray has just two more games left to show the Cards that he's worth hanging onto. Even the league's best signal-callers would struggle to look good with what the Texas native has been working with at receiver in 2023. That's something that will certainly have to be factored in when the Arizona brass decides if Murray will remain the team's quarterback going forward.