This past Sunday, the CBS crew of Kevin Harlan and Trent Green speculated that the Cardinals were playing QB Kyler Murray to see whether they want to keep him for next season and possibly beyond.
Here is what Dan Bickley of Arizona Sports Radio had to say prior to the Steelers game about Kyler Murray’s future in Arizona:
In my opinion, Dan Bickley, who has been extremely fair and prescient in assessing Kyler Murray’s status with the Cardinals while diligently examining both sides of the coin, is 100% correct in claiming that the Cardinals new GM, HC and OC are completely committed to Kyler Murray for 2024.
This does not mean, however, that the Cardinals will not make one of their 2024 draft selections on a QB —- but, it will not be with their 1st pick in the draft. In fact, perhaps one of the more intriguing scenarios for the Cardinals would be to select Florida State’s QB Jordan Travis, if he slides to Day 3 because of his broken leg. That could give the Cardinals three talented young players at the position in Kyler Murray, Jordan Travis and Clayton Tune.
As the Cardinals look ahead to the 2024 season, it is becoming more and more clear that Monti Ossenfort and Dave Sears’ number one priority is to make the Cardinals one of the more physical teams up front in the NFL.
This is why the Cardinals’ 24-10 performance at Heinz Stadium in the midst of an early December monsoon was such a signature win. They beat the Steelers at their own game to the extent that All-Pro T.J, Watt said during the post-game pressers, “They (Cardinals) kicked our ass.”
When have we Cardinals’ fans ever seen our offensive line attack the line of scrimmage with this type of force and tenacity? Quite honestly, to make any apt type of comparison, I have to dig back to the 1970s to the days of Dan Dierdorf, Conrad Dobler and Tom Banks —- who have suddenly been reincarnated as Paris Johnson Jr., Will Hernandez and Hjalte Froholdt.
Here’s the icing on the cake:
For those who want the team to move on from RB James Conner —- take special note of the fact that Jonathan Gannon made it clear as day on Sunday that James Conner “is our leader.”
Amen to that,
And amen to the fact that the Cardinals have the consummate leader on defense in Budda Baker and an exemplary leader on special teams in Dennis Gardeck.
I don’t know about you, but this type of inspired leadership appears to be having a very positive influence on Kyler Murray.
There was something Zen about the way Kyler conducted himself and the offense versus the Steelers. The same kind of Zen you see so often with Aaron Rodgers. To me, this was the first time that Kyler Murray came off as a cagy veteran who was feeling pretty much in complete control of himself and the situation. This was a smiling, grateful Kyler Murray, holding out hands to teammates as they ran off the field.
Talk about running someone off the field — is this special, or what?
There was something very special about the Cardinals’ goal line stand —- which, was the most important momentum changer in the game.
Went crazy in Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/r2hTmzFrPI— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) December 5, 2023
Take another gander at how the Cardinals’ defensive line got off the ball and pushed back their Steel Curtain. Look at how Kevin Strong Jr. sheds his block and stops Najee Harris in his tracks, with a perfect form tackle while Strong’s teammates form a cement wall behind him.
PFF AZ 24-PIT 10. Top 10 : Kyler Murray: 79.2, Budda Balker 78.9; Trey McBride 77.2; Will Hernandez 75.1; Hjalte Froholdt 74.7; James Conner 70.5; Roy Lopez 68.9; BJ Ojulari 68.8; Kevin Strong Jr. 68.4; Garrett Williams 66.1.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) December 4, 2023
Notice how more than half of the Cardinals’ top 10 game grades are from box players.
This is where the Cardinals are trending.
Back in the win column!!— Kelvin Beachum Jr (@KelvinBeachumJr) December 3, 2023
Let’s keep it rolling!! https://t.co/VnTMXKmivy
In Part 2, the focus will be on which players are under contract for 2024, which of the Cardinals’ own free agents they should re-sign, which free agents (many with ties to current Cardinals’ GMs and coaches) the team should sign and what should be the Cardinals priorities in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Please share any ideas you have about next year’s roster and we will try to incorporate the ones that make complete sense.