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Cardinals Payton Trade Poll Results + Kliff Kingsbury’s 2023 Plan?

NFL: New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Payton trade results are in.

What these results suggest is that the majority of the 187 Cardinals’ fans who participated in the poll, would be in favor of the Cardinals trading their #4 first round pick for Sean Payton and a player. Some fans wrote in that they would be in favor of trading the 1st round pick to the Saints straight up for Sean Payton.

Yet, seeing as 37.4% of the fans would like to see the Cardinals hold on to what is most likely going to be the #4 pick, one has to wonder how many fans would approve of the Cardinals trading the #4 without any other compensation to the Saints. To be a little more certain, I just posted a new poll on Twitter —- of yes or no —- would you approve of the Cardinals trading the #4 pick straight up for Sean Payton?

Two hours in, with 93 votes tallied, 76.3% of the fans are in favor of keeping the #4 pick. Pretty much just as I thought.

I would not give up the #4 pick for Sean Payton. Thats’ too steep a price.

In this upcoming draft, I would not want to give up the 2nd round pick which is likely to be pick #35.

I would be open to giving the Saints one of the team’s 2023 3rd rounders, plus the Cardinals’ 2024 2nd rounder.

Of course, all of the Payton talk could be moot if (a) he’s more interested in another team, or (b) if Kliff Kingsbury’s presentation of a 2023 plan to Michael Bidwill is impressive enough to warrant the head coach to hang on to his job.

If you recall, back when Michael Bidwill fired Steve Wilks, Bidwill said at the press conference that one of the main reasons he chose to fire Wilks was because the owner was not impressed with Wilks’ 2019 plan.

It would be fascinating to know what Kliff’s plan is, that is, if he still has a chance to impress Bidwill.

That chance may have been spoiled by the ESPN+ article by Jeremy Fowler and Josh Weinfuss wherein the writers speculated, from what they had been hearing from sources “close to the situation,” that Kliff is “so frustrated, and “so tired of the BS” that he may choose to “walk away from the job.”

One can imagine how angry this article would have made Michael Bidwill. Bidwill is portrayed in the article, at best, as being thrifty, unsupportive and passive-aggressive.

I have been wondering whether one of Fowler’s and Weinfuss’ main sources “close to the situation” was Erik Burkhardt. Time and time again, working surreptitiously behind the scenes, Burkhardt has not done Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury many favors, other than, of course, help them receive their contract extentions.

Sure, Kyler and Kliff were given their money, but that has evolved as a pyrrhic victory in light of the fact that the local and national perceptions of both Kyler and Kliff have sunk to all-time lows. One of my sources has indicated that Kyler has not been happy with Burkhardt and may drop him as his agent. Could Kliff be next?

What’s so mystifying and hypocritical about Fowler’s and Weinfuss’ report is the notion of Kliff Kingsbury electing to quit his job when one of the main saving graces of this season has been his players’ refusal to quit playing hard, at Kliff’s behest and weekly urgings.

Thus, if Kliff Kingsbury could inform Michael Bidwill of how spurious and out of character this ESPN report was and if Kliff could be given a chance to present a cogent and cohesive plan moving forward, here are 10 of the most pertinent questions Kliff would most likely have to answer:

Top 10 Questions:

  • 1 —- Would he lobby for Adrian Wilson or Quentin Harris to be the new GM?
  • 2 —- Which assistant coaches would he lobby to keep?
  • 3 —- Would he lobby to keep Vance Joseph as DC?
  • 4 —- If not, who would Kliff have in mind for DC?
  • 5 —- Would he lobby to keep Jeff Rodgers as STC?
  • 6 —- What would be his plan for free agency?
  • 7 —- What would be his plan for the 2023 NFL Draft?
  • 8 —- What would be his plan at QB?
  • 9 —- Would he lobby for taking one of the top 3 QBs (Young, Stroud, Levis) with #4 pick, particularly if Will Anderson and Jalen Carter are off the board?
  • 10 —- What would be his plan regarding Kyler Murray?

The Most Impressive Answers (imo):

  • 1 —- Adrian Wilson or Quentin Harris
  • 2 —- Steve Heiden as TEC, Spencer Whipple as OC, new QB.WR, RB coaches
  • 3 —- No, time for a change
  • 4 —- Garry Paterson, Jerod Mayo or Larry Foote as DC, with their own assistant coaches
  • 5 —- Yes, Rodgers should do even better with a new GM
  • 6 —- Beef up OL, DL, secondary
  • 7 —- BPA
  • 8 —- Draft Bryce Young, C.J., Stroud or Will Levis, sign David Blough
  • 9 —- Yes this is a rare opportunity and chance to upgrade the QB position
  • 10 —- Be open to trading Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and D.J. Humphries

Kliff’s Most Persuasive Argument...

Would be asking Michael Bidwill, Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris for a chance to upgrade the QB position. If he could get 2 of the team’s top 4 QB performances of this season out of Colt McCoy and David Blough (on the job for less than 2 weeks —-plus getting a strong enough performance from Trace McSorley to take Tom Brady and the Bucs to OT) on top of getting 2 of the top 5 QB performances last season from Colt McCoy, imagine what Kliff could do with Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud or Will Levis.

Some may argue that if Kliff couldn’t mount a top offense this year with Kyler Murray, then he’s not the man for the job. But, if you look at Kliff’s track record with QBs, this season is an anomaly. Could it be that all of the acrimony surrounding Kyler this off-season, much of not brought on by himself and exacerbated by controversial contract clauses, had an adverse effect on his play and the level of his morale?

David Blough has been raving about Kliff — about his system and how he coaches it. Blough arrived from the Vikings having played for Kevin O’Connell, one of the brightest young offensive coaches in the NFL.

Blough has had his only chance to play this year in Arizona with Kliff. So sure, he is apt to be thankful and impressed —- but look at the way Blough played in a system that has been consistently described by Kliff’s QBs over the years as a “QB friendly offense.”

Blough was able to accomplish this in less than 2 weeks. That’s meaningful. Colt McCoy has always expressed how impressed he is with Kliff’s offense —- and in his 13 years in the NFL, his three best wins have come in Kliff’s offense. Virtually every QB Kliff has coaches has raved about his offense, from Case Keenum to Johnny Manziel, to Davis Webb, to Patrick Mahomes to Alan Bowman, to Colt McCoy to David Blough —- everyone but, ironically, Kyler Murray.

Again, imagine if....

At this point, it would not be stretch to believe that Kliff has just as much or more to offer the Cardinals as to what Kevin O’Connell has to offer the Vikings. Or what Mike McDaniel has to offer the Dolphins. Or, even what the legendary Oc turned second-time HC, Josh McDaniels has to offer the Raiders.

What great head coaching takes is having the right QB, a good, balanced offense, a top 10 defense and reliable special teams —-

But, it starts with the right kind of plan from the head coach. One that the owner would find impressive. if there ever was a great time for Kliff to have a plan, especially with a new GM on the way, this is the best possible time.

Those are some questions and answers —- what are your questions? What are your answers?