To be fair, head coach Kliff Kingsburry did say he would take Murray at one if he ever had the opportunity.
In October 2018, Kliff Kingsbury said he would take Kyler Murray as the first pick of the NFL draft if he could.
— ESPN (@espn) January 10, 2019
But at the time, the Cardinals seemed to have their quarterback of the future in Josh Rosen.
They had selected him No. 10 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.
However, with Kingsbury being brought in prior to the 2019 season and Murray declaring for the NFL Draft, the Cardinals head coach followed through on his statement and selected the former Oklahoma gunslinger first overall.
Rosen was then dealt to the Miami Dolphins for a second and fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
In his two years with the Cardinals, Murray has had both highs and lows.
He has started all 32 games, completing 65.8 percent of his passes for 7,693 yards, 46 touchdowns, and 24 interceptions.
Murray has also ran 226 times for 1,363 yards and an additional 15 scores.
However, Arizona has gone just 13-18-1 under Murray and has yet to make the postseason.
The Cardinals have Murray under contract through next season and then has the decision on whether or not to accept his fifth-year option.
While the lack of playoff appearances has been disappointing, it seems like that option will be accepted.
Murray will not get the Rosen treatment.
Clearly, both Murray and the Cardinals must improve for the quarterback and team to reach their full potential.
But going forward, Arizona has to and has every reason to move forward with Murray as their starting quarterback.
Who could forget Murray’s deep pass to DeAndre Hopkins that beat the Buffalo Bills.
MURRAY TO HOPKINS HAIL MARY FOR THE WINpic.twitter.com/RQAG5dRe5a
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) November 16, 2020
While Hopkins gets credit for making the catch over three defenders, that play doesn’t happen without Murray.
He was able to scramble out of the pocket, beat multiple defenders and heave a throw 40 yards downfield falling off of his back foot.
It takes a special talent to make that kind of throw.
And it’s that kind of play-making ability that should have Cardinals fans excited for his future.
Last season, Arizona let Murray use his legs a bit more on offense, giving him 133 carries for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mobility is a trait teams are looking for out of quarterbacks in today’s NFL.
If the Cardinals continue giving Murray opportunities to run, he has proven he can turn those opportunities into success.
For Murray to shine though, he must improve as a passer.
His 7.1 yards per attempt ranked 22nd last season while his 12 interceptions tied for third-highest in the NFL.
He has the legs to make plays in the run game and the arm strength to make plays happen in the air.
He just needs to find a consistent line of taking chances without turning the ball over.
If Murray could do that, he could be one of the scarier dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL.
Eventually, it seems likely that Murray will sign an extension with the Cardinals.
But for now, his base salary maxes out at $965,000.
Having your quarterback on a rookie contract has proven crucial for NFL success in recent years.
Last season, six of the 14 playoff teams’ starting quarterbacks were on a rookie contract.
In 2019, five of the 12 playoff teams had a quarterback on a rookie contract starting.
It’s not necessary for success; as seen by Tom Brady leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl last season.
However, having your starting quarterback on a rookie deal allows you to spend at other positions.
They were able to lock up safety Budda Baker to a four-year, $59 million contract extension.
While there have been question marks about Chandler Jones’ future in Arizona, Murray’s current contract situation would make re-signing the former All-Pro much easier.
Murray has the potential to be one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL.
If he continues to develop and the Cardinals continue to build around him, it shouldn’t be before long that Arizona finds themselves back in the postseason.NEXT: Focus For A.J. Green Is To Stay Healthy With Cardinals