Kyler Murray’s 2023 campaign will decide future with the Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray will return in 2023, even if he is unlikely to be the starter come Week 1 thanks to his rehab from a torn ACL.

One of the biggest debates among the Arizona Cardinals fanbase involves the future of potential franchise quarterback Kyler Murray. You have Murray’s camp on one side, claiming the two-time Pro Bowler and former Offensive Rookie of the Year has shown more than enough ability to lead the team when he returns in 2023 and well into the future. 

In the other camp, you have the group that wants to move on from Murray next season, especially if the Cardinals wind up in a position to draft a top quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft, with Caleb Williams being the top prize at the moment. They also state that Murray’s questionable leadership skills, lack of work ethic, and lack of postseason success show us he’s nothing more than a mediocre player who can put together the occasional good game. 

So who’s right? At this point, both sides have made fair arguments either for or against the Cardinals most polarizing player. And what ultimately becomes of Murray in the desert is contingent on how he plays in 2023. 

2023 will shape Kyler Murray’s future with Arizona Cardinals

If Murray returns and proves to be productive, even if he doesn’t win much, or at all, then the Cardinals could wind up with the top pick in the 2024 draft, but find themselves in a position similar to what the Chicago Bears were in this past season. Chicago had the worst record in the league, but they also had an incredible talent in Justin Fields, negating the need to draft Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. 

Chicago ended up trading the pick to a quarterback-needy team. However, looking at a preliminary list involving 2024 NFL Draft prospects, Arizona could select a generational talent like Marvin Harrison Jr. if they end up with the first pick AND Murray plays well this season when he returns. 

If Murray returns to the Redbirds and plays like Josh Rosen again and the Arizona Cardinals end up with the first pick in the 2024 draft, then by all means, take Caleb Williams and run. Or, if Murray looks bad and the Cards end up with a top five pick, but not the top selection, then there is still Drake Maye of North Carolina. 

Overall, it’s premature to believe Murray will be out following the 2023 season if the Cardinals finish with the worst record in football. If he shows promise under head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, then replacing him makes zero sense. But if he displays his same old flaws, the time’s come to move on from the former number one overall pick, regardless of how much it could cost them in dead cap. 

Source: Speculation Continues to Swirl on Kyler Murray's Future With Cardinals by Donnie Druin,