It’s Not Going to End Well for Kyler Murray in Arizona

Murray was selected first overall by the Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft

Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before kickoff.
Kyler Murray and the Cardinals appear to be headed for break-up.
Cooper Neill/Getty

Currently, Kyler Murray is working his way back from a torn ACL he suffered in the midst of a disastrous NFL campaign that saw the Arizona Cardinals wind up at 4-13 a year after the team went 11-6 and qualified for the playoffs. Kyler has pledged to “listen” and be “coachable” to the best of his ability.

Murray will be listening to a new voice this season, as Kliff Kingsbury was fired after four seasons as Arizona’s coach and head play-caller and replaced with new head coach Jonathan Gannon and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing. Gannon and Petzing have implemented a new offensive system that 25-year-old Murray, who is hoping to be on the field when the Cardinals open the season on Sept. 10 against the Commanders, has been studying this offseason while doing his rehab.

The fifth-year quarterback, who received a five-year, $230.5 million contract extension last July from former GM Steve Keim, is hoping the lessons he learned from last season’s dumpster fire will aid him and the team moving forward. “I’ve got to respect the person or understand the ins and outs or the rhymes and reasons for what we are doing,” Murray said via the team’s website. “But if the shit ain’t working, at some point, we all have to look in the mirror.”

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Keim, who stepped away from the team in January to focus on his health after serving as Arizona’s GM for a decade, seemed to take exception with Murray’s comments during a conversation on FS1 with Colin Cowherd.

“I think in terms of quarterbacks, what he said you don’t love it, just because of the standpoint when he added the word ‘but’ in, generally behind a positive the word ‘but’ does not end in a positive light,” Keim, who drafted Murray No. 1 overall in 2019, told Cowherd. “I certainly didn’t want to hear that. And nor do fans want to hear a guy who’s making $46.1 million a year blame anybody but himself. I’m not saying he’s a guy that blames people. Yet at the same time, when you get that bag of cash, everybody expects you to take it on your shoulders, and that’s what a franchise quarterback does.”

Of course, Keim is the person who handed Murray that bag of cash and that decision is probably a contributing factor as to why he’s not with the team and new GM Monti Ossenfort is. Signing Murray was Keim’s decision, not Ossenfort’s, and that could be a major problem for Murray if the Cardinals end up with the league’s worst record as projected. It will also be an issue if the Texans wind up with the NFL’s worst record as Arizona own’s Houston’s first-round pick. USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who is now coached by none other than Kingsbury, is projected to go No. 1 overall and Ossenfort may opt to reset the franchise if he has the option to select him.

“This is a big year. I would have actually had Kyler in my top five for guys under pressure, because what if they have a bad year?” Keim said. “He’s coming off the injury. He’s got to prove himself. What happens, as what people forecast, that they have the No. 1 pick, they’re in a real predicament.”

Under a new regime and coming off an injury with a 25-32-1 record as a starting NFL quarterback, Murray is too.

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