Yesterday on Twitter, Kyle Odegard posted this eye-opening prediction about Cardinals’ UFA CB Byron Murphy:
NFL Network’s @TomPelissero thinks Byron Murphy could push toward $16M per year in free agency. Tom has a good track record on this stuff.— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) March 9, 2023
#Cardinals CB Byron Murphy and #Bucs CB Jamel Deen could each make $16 million a year on their free-agent deals, per @TomPelissero— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 9, 2023
Both a good young CBs entering their prime. pic.twitter.com/kfbXBbPKFp
If Byron Murphy cashes in on a $16+M a year deal, then he would be this year’s version of Christian Kirk —- a Cardinals’ 2nd round pick —- whom another team believed had the talent to flourish in their system.
Unlike Christian Kirk, however, Byron Murphy is coming off a painful back injury for which he missed the Cardinals’ final 8 games.
For the first 9 games, Byron Murphy was having his best season in Arizona, having been taken out of the slot where he had been struggling and showing a knack for playing boundary corner.
What about Ham?
However, when one looks at the defensive statistics and PFF grades for the Cardinals’ 2022 season, you might be surprised.
- Games: Hamilton 10 —- Murphy: 9
- PFF Grade Overall: Hamilton 68.5 —- Murphy 66.7
- PFF Run Defense: Hamilton 59.7 —- Murphy 73.6
- PFF Tackling Grade: Hamilton 59.4 —- Murphy 56.8
- PFF Coverage Grade: Hamilton 69.4 —- Murphy 63.9
- Tackles: Hamilton 37 —- Murphy 33
- Stops: Hamilton 12 —- Murphy 9
- Passing Yards Given Up: Hamilton 300 —- Murphy 350
- TDs Given Up: Hamilton 2 —- Murphy 4
- Interceptions: Hamilton 1 —- Murphy 0
- Pass breakups: Hamilton 3 —- Murphy 5
- Completion % Given Up: Hamilton 72.5% —- Murphy 64.3 %
- Yards Per Catch Given Up: Hamilton 10.3 —- Murphy 9.7
- QB Rating On Passes Their Way: Hamilton 100.0 —- Murphy 105.5
Byron Murphy at 25 years old is just hitting his prime and was the #33 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. When healthy, Byron Murphy brings ample talent to his position as a boundary corner.
However, it’s worth noting that Antonio Hamilton at 30 had as productive a season in 2022 as Byron Murphy —- yet, Murphy’s market value is now being projected to be $16+M a year. While, Hamilton’s, for a year or two, would likely be in the vicinity of $1.5M a year.
Kudos to ROTB Members:
You voted 55% (304 votes) in favor of the Cardinals re-signing Antonio Hamilton.
Vic, I think this exactly what Byron Murphy needs to do --- take a one year deal that is chock-full of performance incentives --- to then try to skyrocket his market value in 2024. He could thrive in JG's defense.— Walter B J Mitchell (@WBJMItch) March 5, 2023
But, man, $16+M a year to keep Byron Murphy seems unfathomable at this point, doesn’t it?
PFF Salary Projections:
- #5 —-Jamel Dean (26, TB —- 77.9): 4 yrs — $17m avg/yr, $45m guaranteed, $68m total
- #15 —-James Bradberry (29, PHI —- 71.7, 2022 2nd Team All Pro): 2 yrs — $12M avg/yr, $16.5M guaranteed, $24M total
- #23 Cameron Sutton (28, PIT —- 68.1): 3 yrs — $8.5m avg/yr, $15.5m guaranteed, $25.5m total
- #33 Jonathan Jones (29, NE —- 68.1): 2 yrs — $5.5m avg/yr, $7m guaranteed, $11m total
- #45 Byron Murphy (25, ARI —- 66.7): 3 yrs — $12m avg/yr, $21.75m guaranteed, $36m total
Would you sign Byron Murphy to a $16M a year deal?
This poll is closed
If these contract projections are accurate, which of these UFA CBs would you prefer?
Which UFA CB would you sign?
This poll is closed
J. Dean, 26, $17M/per
J. Bradberry, 29, $12M/per
C. Sutton, 28, $8.5M/per
J. Jones, 29, $5.5M/per
B. Murphy, 25, $12M/per
What were your votes? What plan would you like to see from MOJO for adding talent at cornerback?