If Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is serious about leaving the desert, the team needs to trade him while he still has value. While Murray has played like an MVP in stretches, he also has had some cold streaks. Nothing summed it up more than his 1-5 finish to the 2021 season following the team’s 10-2 start. Assuming they resolve the league-wide lockout, Murray could also jump ship into the MLB if he wants, since the Oakland A’s own his rights. Given the flaws in Murray’s play and his ability to ultimately choose baseball, the Cardinals need to trade him this off-season if they want to maximize their compensation.
Arizona Cardinals Must Trade Kyler Murray While They Can
Murray is a former Rookie of the Year and a two-time Pro Bowler and his value still warrants at least a first-round pick. Quarterback-needy teams like the Houston Texans (possibly, pending the outcome of the Deshaun Watson situation), Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, and Washington Commanders could look into trading for Murray. Each of those teams has a pick in the top 11, and it would put the Cardinals in prime position to draft a replacement for Murray.
But the 2022 quarterback class is not necessarily strong, so Arizona could use a high pick to draft a pass rusher, cornerback, or even a receiver. Suppose the Cardinals trade Murray to the Texans for two first-round picks and Davis Mills (who proved himself to be a worthy starter in 2021). They would get their quarterback and put themselves in a prime position to draft someone like Aiden Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux. This would also help replace Chandler Jones in the process should the team not re-sign him.
If the Cardinals waited to trade Murray, his value could drop substantially. If Murray decides to sit out the 2022 season, his trade value would decrease. If he picks up the baseball bat, the Cardinals can forget about trading him.
Staying in Arizona
Another scenario would see Murray spending his fourth season in the desert. If that happened and he played well consistently, his trade value would not decrease and the Cardinals could either sign him to an extension or trade him following the 2022 season. But, if Murry had another dip in his play in the second half of the season for the third straight year, his trade value would fall well below where it is now.
In most of the scenarios above, Murray’s value falters, and in only one does it remain. The Cardinals need to ask themselves right now whether Murray wants to be a part of the Cardinals organization. If they do not believe so, they need to find a suitable trading partner.
But who would become a viable trading partner for the Cardinals? As already outlined, one possibility is making a trade with the Texans for quarterback Davis Mills plus at least two first-round picks. Arizona could also execute a trade with Washington where the Cardinals would get a first-round pick plus others and Taylor Heinicke. They could also make a deal with the Broncos for the same draft compensation and Drew Lock.
Regardless of what the Cardinals decide to do, the ball is in their court, at least for now. Murray still has a lot of value, especially coming off of a Pro Bowl season. The Cardinals need to trade him now at a high price tag because no one knows what next season may bring.