Kyler Murray rumors: Ten logical landing spots for Cardinals QB if contract dispute leads to trade talks

One of the NFL’s busiest offseasons in terms of blockbuster moves finally died down ahead of the 2022 draft. Until now. A day after the Browns’ Baker Mayfield addressed his inevitable and ugly split from Cleveland, NFL Media reports that quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals have stalled in contract talks, the former No. 1 overall pick being unlikely to play for Arizona without a new deal. Murray and the Cardinals have both publicly played down a rift that has reportedly escalated in recent months, but other teams are actively hiding as they fail to cooperatively pursue a long-term deal.

Does this mean a breakup is imminent? No. The Cardinals technically have the 24-year-old Murray under contract through 2022, and possibly 2023, if they exercise his fifth-year option. But the groundwork has been laid for this problem to escalate: Murray’s agent put detailed public pressure on Arizona in February, almost demanding a lucrative extension; and a true spring/summer hold would force the Cardinals to consider auctioning off Pro Bowl QB to a bidder willing to meet Murray’s demands.

Crazier things have happened. Look what happened with Tom Brady, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan and countless others this offseason. In the event that Arizona answers trade inquiries for Murray, who is sure to get a Watson-level carry for their benefit, which teams might be logical landing spots? Here are 10, with Cardinals rival Seahawks ruled out under the assumption that Arizona would never deal Murray in the same division:

They rolled out the red carpet for Watson, even dropping Matt Ryan for a measly third-round pick. So they would surely – and wisely – look into it. The problem is that they have next to no money to spend, and even if they manipulate the cap to add it, they won’t have any money to build a barren roster around it.

It would take some serious capping maneuvers, and even then the new regime wouldn’t have much left to spend. But Brian Daboll knows the value of having an elite double threat at QB. In a perpetually wide-open NFC East, who’s to say New York couldn’t surprise sooner rather than later by using its premium assets (two top-10 picks in 2022) to secure a new face for the franchise?

They’re only paying high-end relief money to Mitchell Trubisky, and they certainly won’t be guaranteed equal talent with the No. 20 overall pick. With a playoff-ready defense and an improved O line, the addition of Murray could instantly propel them deeper into the playoffs. The problem is that their first turn is later and they don’t have many more extra picks to deal with.

They are attached to Ryan Tannehill, but mostly because of his contract, which could be partially discharged in a potential swap elsewhere. Yes, Tannehill helped turn them into playoff contenders, but he’s likely peaked, as Murray would give Tennessee a longer-range, higher weapon for an already run-focused offense. Yet they also don’t have much additional draw capital.

Contrary to popular opinion, veteran placeholder Jared Goff is no longer immovable; it can be cut after June 1 to save over $10.5 million. They need a long-term response under center, and their fans would be revitalized by a talent like Murray, who would pair well with underrated playmakers like D’Andre Swift and DJ Chark. More importantly, they have the ammunition to make it work, with two first rounds in 2022 and 2023.

Yes, they’re only a year away from drafting Zach Wilson No. 2 overall, but Murray, who’s only two years older, is what they’re praying Wilson will become. With two first and two seconds in this year’s draft, not to mention the excess cap space, they can afford to take a major turn to shake up the AFC East, especially after reinforcing other holes on the roster. .

For better or worse, 2021 third-rounder Davis Mills could keep them from drafting a QB in early 2022. But he wouldn’t — or should — keep them from making the call here. They still need a long-term answer, and Murray, who comes from Texas, has proven he can be. They also have the ammunition (first two in each of the next three years) to immediately jump from one top-10 talent (Watson) to another.

They tried for Watson, so they would surely try for Murray. Yes, they’ve since paid Jameis Winston as a short-term starter, but they could send him to Arizona in a heartbeat. With two top-20 picks in 2022, they could make a solid offer and use their famous ceiling manipulation to get him in, pairing him with Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas to compete in the NFC South immediately.

They keep saying they’re committed to Jalen Hurts in 2022, but only after sniffing out potential upgrades and revamping their capital project to position themselves for a possible 2023 reset. Murray is the kind of star short and long-term that could immediately put them back in contention, and aggressive general manager Howie Roseman, who has had a fairly quiet offseason, has two firsts in 2022 and 2023. As a bonus, offensive assistant Aaron Moorehead has been on staff of Texas A&M during Murray’s real freshman season there. .

They are most desperate for a QB. Unless they risk reaching one of the draft’s top prospects, they’ll enter 2022 — a potentially breakthrough year for the team’s brass — with Sam Darnold beleaguered at center. There’s no doubt they’d give up the No. 6 overall pick if it meant securing Murray, giving Matt Rhule his most talented QB yet and allowing the likes of Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore a chance to surprise. in the NFC South. They’re currently leading the NFL in the 2022 cap space, so money wouldn’t be an issue.