Byron Murphy leaving the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason was a bit of shock when initially reported. Though he struggled when he moved to be a cornerback on the boundary, many fans still considered the homegrown talent as part of the future. However, he left to join the Minnesota Vikings for a two-year deal worth up to $17.5 million. This contract was perceived by many pundits as a steal when considering his age and untapped potential, so how has Murphy performed thus far?
In short, Byron Murphy has walked into one of the weakest defensive units in the league, and he has done nothing to mitigate that damage. His PFF grade sits at a poor 49.5 for a team yielding a sixth highest 27.3 points per game.
Byron Murphy was tasked with defending Keenan Allen against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3 and looked completely overmatched all game long. Allen finished with an absurd 215 yards on 18 receptions, and Murphy was responsible for the bulk of that production. According to Pro Football Reference, he was targeted 14 times in that game and allowed 10 receptions for a total of 123 yards.
On the season teams have found success challenging Byron Murphy. Quarterbacks have a completion percentage of 72% when targeting the Scottsdale, Arizona native. If this holds it would be a career worst performance.
Murphy also built up a reputation of being a good tackler for his position, yet he has already missed as many tackles this season as he did all last year as well as the highest missed tackle rate of his career. Murphy left the Arizona Cardinals to prove that he can be a shutdown corner, but the early returns have been questionable.