It seems inevitable that the Arizona Cardinals will trade Kyler Murray
By Jim Koch
There is speculation that the new regime wants their own hand-picked quarterback to lead the Arizona Cardinals offense.
Four years have passed since the Arizona Cardinals used a first-overall selection on Kyler Murray. Pretty much from day one, the pint-sized quarterback was destined to be a polarizing individual. Many members of the "Birdgang", including yours truly, wanted no part of the 5 foot 10, 207 pound signal-caller.
Fast forward to 2023, and very little has changed in regards to Murray. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner seemed well on his way to proving his detractors wrong when he appeared in back-to-back Pro Bowls following the 2020 and 2021 campaigns. Things went awry last fall, however, when Murray posted a 3-8 record as a starter for the Cards.
A couple of days ago, Action Network's Simon Hunter reported that Arizona had a deal in place during last week's draft that was going to send Murray to the Atlanta Falcons. Many doubt that there was any validity to the rumor, due to the fact that finances would likely prevent general manager Monti Ossenfort from consummating such a trade. A whopping $59.2 million in dead salary-cap space would be left behind if the Cardinals moved on from Murray this year.
Ossenfort wasn't exactly throwing water on all of the Murray trade talk when he used a fifth-round choice on University of Houston passer Clayton Tune. That may not sound like a big deal, but why would the front office add a youngster to an already crowded Redbirds quarterbacks room?
The new leadership team of the Arizona Cardinals may prefer to move on from a passer who's a product of the previous regime
It's not out of the realm of possibility that Ossenfort and his cohorts would want to put their own stamp on the all-important position. Now that Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury are gone, the Cards' only tie to Murray is the exorbitant contract that was handed to the 25-year-old last summer. It also stands to reason that new offensive coordinator Drew Petzing has his own ideas about what type of signal-caller he wants for the offense he is bringing to the desert.
Thanks to the masterful wheeling and dealing that Ossenfort pulled off on the draft's opening night, Arizona could very well be armed with not one, but two top-10 picks in 2024. Management's lack of activity during the free-agent signing period could lead to double-digit losses for new coach Jonathan Gannon's squad this coming fall. It could also be a long season for the Houston Texans, so the first-round choice that "Big Red" finagled out of that franchise could potentially be yet another blue-chip selection.
With that type of ammunition, Ossenfort and company could find themselves in a position to land University of North Carolina stud Drake Maye in '24. It's also possible that Tune could step up in a big way and become the Cardinals' own version of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Either scenario could lead to Murray ultimately being jettisoned by the team that drafted him back in '19.