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Trade Winds Forecasted

In the comment section of Saturday’s article, JustANotherJoe wrote:

“Unfortunately I have very little confidence that he (Kyler Murray) really wants to be with the team long term.”

That’s the elephant in the room, Joe.

Everything Kyler has done since the end of the Rams’ game suggests that he wants out of Arizona (unless he gets his mega-million dollar bag that his agent demanded in the form of an ultimatum).

What sticks in my craw with regard to Kyler’s scrubbing of his socials of all Cardinals’ related photos, instead of leaving a photo of him and his 4 Cardinals’ teammates who played in the Pro Bowl, teammates he claimed that he “loves to death,” he opted to highlight a photo of him and CeeDee Lamb. As they say, “every picture tells a story.”

That hurts, bro.

With regard to Cardinals’ fans expressing concerns about Kyler Murray, some are saying that I am a fool to take his social media scrubbings personally.

They say, “this is strictly business, fool.”

Not the way I look at it.

Kyler scrubbing his socials is personal to me. Rooting for the Cardinals since 1963 has been one of the greatest passions of my life. I have always been emotionally invested in my redbirds, like every hour of every day.

When a player scrubs out all of his Cardinals’ related photos, he’s not only scrubbing away his teammates, he’s scrubbing away all images of the fans who have put a ton of high hopes and emotional investments into the team --- we Cardinals’ fans who soak a great deal of time and money into the franchise.

Correct me if I am wrong, but without the fans, there would be no NFL. We are the ones who do the most to finance this league. Thus, if you think like I do, each fan is a stockholder and a vital member of the franchise.

So , when players on my team want nothing to do with my Cardinals anymore, yeah, I take it personally. That’s why I feel eager to show them the way out.. If I can’t trust whether a player wants to be a part of the solution, then I am fine with those types of players leaving.

Adrian Wilson always wanted to be a part of the solution. He stuck around to turn things around. Same for Kurt Warner.

The problem with Cardinals’ fans is that we are so desperate to see the Cardinals win a Super Bowl, that we have a tendency to hang on in desperation to players that we think are irreplaceable.

Every time a Cardinals’ star player scrubs his socials and asks for a trade, the familiar cry of “who else could we ever possibly get to replace him?” is echoed throughout the fan base.

While I totally get it and have fallen victim to it myself many times in the past, I have learned the hard way over the past several years that holding players hostage and against their will is a grievous mistake.

I believe that Cardinals’ fans would be pleasantly surprised to see what Kliff can do with other QBs. Look at how well Kliff prepared Colt McCoy. I loved watching Colt compete. Imagine then what Kliff could do with a host of candidates.

In the NFL this week, QB trade winds are apt to blow and swirl very mightily.

Apparently, Aaron Rodgers is contemplating whether to abandon ship on the Packers in order to seek a trade to the Broncos, Steelers or Titans.

Every one is waiting on Rodgers to be the first big domino to fall. After that the trade winds could get wild and crazy.

It appears that the 49ers are listening very eagerly to offers for Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Texans have been anxious to move on from Deshaun Watson if and when Watson’s legal troubles are settled and/or adjudicated.

The Colts appear to be ready to move on from Carson Wentz.

The Seahawks are adamant that they are not trading Russell Wilson, but that could be a day by day fluctuation. Wilson has had one foot out of Seattle for well over a year now,

Tom Brady says he’s happily retired one day and the next day says “you never say never”.

Bruce Arians last week stated that the Bucs would do everything in their power to prevent Brady from playing elsewhere.

The Eagles may be interested in trading Jalen Hurtz, in favor of trading for another QB.

Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson are on 5th year options (unless Jackson, as his own agent, agrees to an extension).

Matt Ryan has an enormous cap figure, but could find himself in demand as the trade talks whistle through the radio waves.

Kirk Cousins also has a huge cap figure and his present and future in Minneapolis appears to be uncertain.

Mitch Trubisky has emerged as the #1 target n a very shallow UFA QB pool. Jameis Winston is #2.

Malik Willis is very talented, but raw.

Kenny Pickett has a combination of skills, but has small hands and ball security issues.

Matt Corral has an alluring combination of arm talent and athleticism, but his slight frame has scouts concerned.

Sam Howell is a powder keg playmaker, but is coming off a season that did not match his brilliance in 2020.

The following teams could try to make a blockbuster deal for a QB: Commanders, Panthers, 49ers (Tom Brady?), Bucs, Giants, Lions, Dolphins, Steelers, Titans, Colts, Broncos and Eagles.

This year it feels like well more than half of the NFL teams currently find themselves in some sort of a QB quandary.

The QB market is about as high this year as it ever has been.

Put it this way, here are the 11 teams that appear to be set at QB for 2022:

AFC East: Patriots, Bills, Jets

AFC Central: Bengals

AFC South: Jaguars

AFC West: Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders

NFC East: Cowboys

NFC Central: Bears

NFC South:

NFC West: Rams

With such an enormous QB market, if Kyler Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, remains true to form, this would be the week that he and Kyler ask for a trade.

  • Super Bowl Week: social media scrubbing
  • Combine Week: ultimatum to Cardinals in the form of a ransom note
  • Eve of Free Agency Week: ?
  • It’s the old transitive property —- if a=b and b=c, then a=c

If we do not hear of a trade demand by Burkhardt this week, it could mean that progress has been made —- or certain promises have been made —- in contract negotiations between the agent and Steve Keim. Most likely the former, because Burkhardt has already screamed in the Cardinals’ face that TALK IS CHEAP.

Joseph Comeau posted an impressive video of what he believes the likely figures would be on Kyler Murray’s contract extension:

Joe makes a very good point that, in the long run, the Cardinals might save money if they sign Kyler to a $47M a year extension now, if QB contracts continue to climb at the current rate.

Joe has a far better finger on the pulse of Cardinals’ fans than I do, if this March 1st poll is a prime indication:

For those, like myself, who are imploring the Cardinals to wait another year to discuss a contract extension for Kyler, here is an interesting article (provided to us by CardsFan4Life85, thank you):

https://www.totalprosports.com/2022/03/05/new-report-indicates-lack-of-trade-interest-in-qb-kyler-murray-after-insane-contract-demands/

Here is an analogy I tried to make about whether the Cardinals should get on a knee:

But, one of the main reasons why I would like to see the Cardinals wait as long as they can with Kyler (beyond wanting to see much improved leadership before Cards deal him $47M a year) is this hunch which I call “The Brady Curve.”

I think it is pretty telling that none of the top 10 highest paid QBs in recent years have won the Super Bowl.

2021:

NFL’s highest paid players regardless of position (average annual salary):

  • 1. Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes: $45 million
  • 2. Bills QB Josh Allen $43 million
  • 3. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: $40 million
  • 4. Texans QB Deshaun Watson: $39 million
  • 5. Seahawks QB Russell Wilson: $35 million
  • 6. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: $33.5 million
  • 6. Rams QB Jared Goff: $33.5 million
  • 8. Vikings QB Kirk Cousins: $33 million
  • 9. Colts QB Carson Wentz: $32 million
  • 10. Falcons QB Matt Ryan: $30 million

If the trend of the top 10 highest paid QBs not winning Super Bowls continues, then I am of the belief that teams and their star QBs will start to apply the Brady Curve, meaning that the QB will redo his deal so that he is not taking up 20% of the team’s entire salary cap. And not just by kicking the can down the road, but by taking notable pay cuts. My best guess is that if the Chiefs miss out again next season, then Patrick Mahomes could be the first to exercise the Brady Curve. And once Mahomes does that, others will follow.

People scoff and say all the time that Tom Brady made contract sacrifices because he’s married to a supermodel. I live here 5 minutes from Gillette Stadium and I can assure you that I don’t know of any Patriots’ fan who believes that Brady took pay cuts because he could rely on Giselle’s income.

Brady is the most single-minded QB in the history of the NFL. He has always been willing to do everything in his power to help his team win Super Bowls. What he sacrificed in base salary, he made up for in advertising.

That’s the thing —- just how many slices of a 53 slice pie money is enough?

It is naive for a QBs who demands a $45+M a year contract to say he wants to win multiple Super Bowls. Why?

Because no QB making anywhere near that kind of money has ever done it.

For obvious reasons —- being financially able to surround that QB with enough talent on offense and to pair him with a prolific, championship-caliber defense and highly competent special teams.

As we have seen in recent years, some of the most talented, highest paid QBs like Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and Josh Allen can be a huge factor in taking their teams to the playoffs multiple times —- but how many of them have won a Super Bowl over the eight years?

What Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford have now created is the buzz that the right QB , with a favorable, cap-friendly salary, who can attract other good players to the team, can join a brand new team and win the Lombardi Trophy right away.

That —- and in recent years —- we have seen young QBs still on their first contracts take their teams to Super Bowls, like Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff and Joe Burrow.

When Kyler Murray talked about winning Super Bowls, I always thought he was going to help the team out with the cap. Not only would the Cardinals’ Super Bowl chances be improved, but so would the likelihood of Kyler’s own durability, seeing as the money he could sacrifice, could help the team construct the best offensive line possible and a defense that doesn’t collapse late in the season.

Think about this —- if Super Bowl aspiring QBs give the team back $16M on the cap, that would mean adding 2-4 real good starters. That’s what the Bengals were able to do this past off-season because Joe Burrow isn’t making $50M yet. For roughly $16M the Bengals were able to add DE Trey Hendrickson (73.5, 14 sacks) and CB Mike Hilton (70.2, 66 tackles, 2 ints., 1 TD). Do the Bengals make the Super Bowl without Hendrickson and Hilton?

Mark Twain wrote that when he grew up on the Mississippi and the circus rolled through town, he and his buddies were immediately inspired to become acrobats, clowns and lion tamers.

Well, over the next few weeks and months in the NFL, many QB needy owners and GMs will be inspired to try to find the next Matthew Stafford or Joe Burrow. Affordable QBs who can deliver in the clutch and attract good players to join them in their Super Bowl quest, are now in vogue and could be in vogue for years to come.