Although the new coaching staff had expectations of him, Murray is actually faster than some imagined and even more talented. It seems like a while ago, but Murray was selected to the Pro Bowl for two straight years (2020-2021) and led his team to an 8-1 start in 2021.
Murray will wear a wristband during today’s game, although Petzing has all of his quarterbacks wear one to make the play call easier to execute (Josh Dobbs also wore one during his eight starts for the Cardinals this year). Murray will have the entire Cardinals play sheet on his wristband, making it easier to enter and exit the group.
While there may be some rust, as this will be Murray’s first game in 11 months, expect the offense to be a little more aggressive once Murray gets his feet under him. The more he collects, the more the staff will rely on him in terms of protection and controls.
Murray indicated he’s where he needs to be athletically, which could also mean Arizona is setting up some of the QB runs he thrives on.
That’s today, but what about the next few months?
It is clear that both teams will approach these next eight games with their eyes wide open. Murray could be the QB of the future for this new regime, or he could be the NFL’s biggest trade asset this offseason, allowing Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort to launch a rebuild that would then include a new quarterback.
All parties seem open to all options.
If the Cardinals win more games than expected — say they go 4-4 the rest of the way — it would be unlikely they draft a top-tier QB, which would make Murray the better option. There’s a good chance Ossenfort and company will decide the best path forward is to work together if it all fits together.
Murray is set to receive $35.95 million fully guaranteed next season, and $18 million of his 2025 salary will be fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the 2024 offseason, meaning if the Cardinals kept him, they would probably for several years.
If Murray plays well but the team is still left with a top draft pick, Cardinals executives should weigh the weight of keeping their QB on his contract versus moving the contract, receiving a boatload of picks in an exchange with which to build, but also uncertainty. to start again in this position.
While there is plenty of time to make one of the most important decisions in franchise history, the path to this potential storyline begins today.