Kyler Murray, the starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, is a polarizing figure, to say the least, around the NFL, more so when he and the team agreed to a five-year, 230.5 million dollar contract with nearly 160 million of it fully guaranteed.
Murray is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he suffered a torn ACL after suffering a non-contact injury in the first quarter versus the New England Patriots on December 12th of last year. He will unlikely play in the first week of the season, as that is nearly nine months to the day of the injury, and with the team sinking nearly a quarter billion dollars in him, he does not need to rush back to the field and get re-injured.
Besides returning from a severe knee injury, there are questions about Murray and his leadership abilities as the quarterback is the figurehead of the franchise. One of the lasting memories of Murray’s leadership thought process is that infamous interception that got returned for a touchdown versus the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game. It looked like one of the worst throws and decisions made in NFL history, as Murray did not want to take a safety to go down 16-0; instead, they wound up down 21-0. Another question about his leadership was that part of his new extension initially had a clause for him to complete at least four hours of independent study during game weeks. Finally, the last concern the team should have considered when drafting Murray was: Is football his true love? He was also drafted by the Oakland Athletics in Major League Baseball as a second baseman.
The Cardinals have virtually never drafted a franchise quarterback that played for the team, as Joe Namath went to the New York Jets in the American Football League instead in 1965, and they are an NFL original franchise that started in 1920.
All and all, unfortunately for the Cardinals, Murray might have to be the long-term solution until the 2025 or 2026 season due to how much dead cap the team inherited by getting rid of the former first-overall pick.