There is a possibility that the Arizona Cardinals’ starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, might not play this season. The Cardinals will not activate him from the PUP list yet. It might be weeks away from his return. He is still recovering from a torn ACL last December.
Why would the Arizona Cardinals not play Kyler Murray?
Why would the Cardinals not play their starting quarterback if he is their best chance at winning? The answer lies in his contract. The Cardinals would save money if they don’t play Kyler because of the injury guarantee clause. If he gets injured, Arizona will be on the hook for his $56 million guarantee and the possibility of making $92 million.
There is a possibility that Arizona will get rid of him this offseason because they have a new Head Coach and General Manager. The Head Coach and the GM have no obligation to Murray because they didn’t draft or sign him. Expect Arizona to draft a quarterback in the first round. This will be determined by how Joshua Dobbs plays this year.
The Cardinals replaced Josh Rosen with Kyler Murray
The Cardinals moved on from rookie quarterback Josh Rosen after one season. The Cardinals replaced Josh Rosen by drafting Kyler Murray 1st overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Miami traded for Josh Rosen on draft day in exchange for draft picks.
Arizona went 5-10-1 in Kyler’s rookie season. Kyler threw for 3,722 yards with a 64.4% completion percentage, 6.9 yards per attempt, 20 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He had 93 rushes for 544 yards and four rushing touchdowns, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Arizona went 8-8 in Murray’s second season. Kyler threw for 3,971 yards with a 67.2% completion percentage, 7.1 yards per attempt, 26 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He had 133 rushes for 819 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns, making his first Pro Bowl.
Arizona started 2021 with a 7-0 record. The Cardinals lost to the Green Bay Packers in Week 8 on Thursday Night Football because he threw an interception at the goal line. Kyler suffered an ankle injury and missed the next three games. Kyler returned in Week 13 and finished the regular season with an 11-6 record. In 14 games, Kyler had 3,787 passing yards, 69.2% completion percentage, 7.9 yards per attempt, 24 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Murray had 88 rushes for 423 yards and five rushing touchdowns, making his second Pro Bowl. Arizona got blown out by the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round.
Kyler Murray signed a contract extension in 2022.
On July 21, 2022, he agreed to a 5-year, $230.5 million extension with the Cardinals, plus $160 million guaranteed. Part of the contract included a film study clause. There has been criticism that Kyler doesn’t watch films. After backlash, the team removed the film study provision.
Kyler tears his ACL
Kyler tore his ACL against the New England Patriots. Kyler was 3-8 as the starting quarterback, throwing for 2,368 yards with a 66.4% completion percentage, 6.1 yards per attempt, 14 passing touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Murray had 67 rushes for 418 yards and three touchdowns.
Kyler Murray’s Fate
Joshua Dobbs is currently the starting quarterback for the Cardinals. They are impressed with his performance. Dobbs has thrown for 814 yards, with a 70.7% completion percentage, 6.6 yards per attempt, and four touchdown passes.
If Arizona decides to sit Kyler for the rest of the season, Joshua Dobbs will continue to be the starting quarterback. The business decision would be not to play Murray this season. Then, trade Murray in the offseason and draft Murray’s replacement.
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