Before I talk about where Kyler Murray should go, let’s talk about the cautionary tale, and why the Arizona Cardinals cannot rush him back in 2023.
Daunte Culpepper. Before his ACL injury, he was on track to become one of the best quarterbacks in the game. Coming off a 2004 season in which he threw for 4,717 yards, 39 TDs and 11 INTs, he tore his ACL in late October. He rushed back, playing for the Miami Dolphins in 2006, going from a QB that had thrown for 3,000 yards 4 times, to one that only threw for 3991 in the rest of his career.
Murray, at 25, is 3 years younger than Culpepper was when he was injured. Hopefully, that means he will heal better and be able to play for another decade.
Where Should Kyler Murray Go? Top 5 options if the QB is traded
Los Angeles Rams:
Matthew Stafford is 35. Even though the Rams don’t have the running game that Murray needs, he fits the Sean McVay profile. What profile, you may ask? Stafford is a #1 overall pick. Last year, McVay was willing to work with another #1 overall in Baker Mayfield. Add another #1 overall that McVay inherited from Jeff Fisher in Jared Goff, and Murray could be the fourth #1 overall to play for him. Having Cooper Kupp would be a blessing.
Andy Dalton is also 35. Here, Murray would come in as a backup to Bryce Young. Both are 5-10, so the Panthers adding Murray would mean that the offense should not change if Young goes down or comes out looking like Jimmy Clausen. This would give Murray a chance to work his way back and not have to be the guy. With Young on a rookie deal, this could actually work for 2 or 3 years, giving Murray time to view the game from the sidelines.
This is the one I don’t really want to see. The truth is that if Tua can stay healthy, they will need a backup, one older than Murray. Ironically, Kyler’s teammate, Colt McCoy, would fit in that instance. If Tua needs to be replaced, Murray becomes an interesting choice. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are two of the most dynamic receivers in the game, better than Hopkins/Fitzgerald. Miami is also trying to improve both the offensive line and running back room, so they seem like an automatic playoff team if Murray is healthy.
New York Jets:
Joe Namath lasted 4 games with the Rams. Johnny Unitas lasted 5 with the Chargers. Joe Montana is the goal, having reached the AFC Championship Game his first year in Kansas City. One thing I had forgotten, is that due to injury, Montana only played 11 games that year. So what do we expect Aaron Rodgers to do? He could lead the Jets to the promised land, then walk off into the sunset like Elway.
The other is that OL, think Becton, could fall apart again, and leave Rodgers looking like late career Namath. Either way, Rodgers is not a long term play. Maybe a one year deal in 2024 to kick the Zach Wilson can down the road is a good idea. This is a team that will not rebuild because they don’t want to waste that defense with Gardner and Williams x2.
Mike Vrabel has a type. Ryan Tannehill will be 35 when the season starts. But that isn’t what I am taking about. Tannehill played 4 years in college; Malik Willis played 4; Will Levis played 4. Willis and Levis were both transfers which Murray also is.
Kyler Murray also played at Texas A & M like Tannehill. It is likely that Vrabel will want a veteran in the room when Tannehill moves on. Murray becomes an interesting choice, because with all of these 4 year guys in the room, Murray is less than 2 years older than Willis and less than 3 older than Levis. If the young guys hit, better for Tennessee. But with Derrick Henry starting to get up there in age, more likely this team will become more pass oriented, in which case Murray could bail this team out.
So there you have it. Best case scenario is for Kyler Murray not to rush back; let the league fall into place and pick and choose a place where he can truly flourish.