Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray’s opportunity in 2023 that no one is talking about

The stars seemingly couldn’t have aligned any worse for Kyler Murray over the past year. But he also has a rare opportunity.
Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Kyler Murray has seen nothing but misfortune since he signed his contract extension last summer. His overall immaturity showed, he toiled through poor play in 2022, his offense was never completely healthy, and he ultimately suffered a torn ACL that should cause him to miss at least part of the 2023 season. 

Since 2020, however, one of the biggest knocks on Murray is his overall inability to elevate the talent of those surrounding him consistently, and it’s a point I made several times over the past three seasons. Great quarterbacks have this ability, but Murray, despite being a former number one overall pick, has rarely shown this. 

With a roster that many are projecting to be among the lesser-talented in the league, Murray finally has a chance, once he returns, to make those in a mediocre lineup around him better. He can show us that, even without DeAndre Hopkins, he can step in and put new life into the offense. 

Kyler Murray doesn’t need to win to prove he’s the Arizona Cardinals guy

Notice, I never mentioned that the Cardinals need to win a lot of games for Murray to keep his job. If he’s able to transform tight end Trey McBride into a playmaker in the red zone and help Marquise Brown solidify his status as a WR1 in this league, it will be enough for the Cards to pass on Drake Maye and Caleb Williams in April 2024’s draft. 

If Murray seizes the opportunity that will be given to him, the Cards can draft someone like Marvin Harrison Jr. and give what will then be the sixth-year quarterback yet another option in the passing game. They can also select the best defensive player in the draft, perhaps the best defensive lineman, and immediately upgrade the worst position unit on the team. 

Finally, if Murray can elevate those around him, it will trim a year off the Cardinals long-term rebuild. Not that they will immediately return to contention in 2024, but they will build on their 2023 campaign, regardless of how bad their W-L ratio might get in 2023.