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Kyler Murray trade rumors have been brewing in recent days. He still hasn’t agreed a new long-term contract with the Arizona Cardinals, so Murray’s future remains in doubt.
Recent reports he won’t suit up for the Cardinals on his current deal in 2022 only add fuel to the idea the quarterback could be traded. One team already mentioned as a potential trade partner is NFC East contender the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles’ chances of striking a deal for Murray have been assessed by respected NFL writer and pundit Peter King. He’s given his verdict on whether the Eagles would prefer Murray over current starter Jalen Hurts.
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Hurts, Drat Picks Too Valuable for Eagles
King discussed a Murray to the Eagles scenario with Mike Florio on a recent episode of NBC’s Pro Football Talk. It was King who pointed out how the Eagles already have a quarterback in place and plenty of means to build around him:
Look, I like Kyler Murray. I’d like to have him for most teams in the NFL, for 15-18 teams at leas in the NFL, I’d like to haven him as my quarterback. But it absolutely is not a slam dunk, because you have to ask yourself long-term, do you want to play that style of offense, and do you want to play with a guy who looks like he has been subject to injury? And so I think those are the big questions you have to ask yourself, but Mike, I doubt sincerely that the Philadelphia Eagles would really mortgage all of the gains that they’ve made in draft choices and get rid of Jalen Hurts and add Kyler Murray. That’s my gut feeling.
King’s assessment focused on common issues concerning Murray. Namely, his size and durability.
The 5’10”, 207-pounder lacks a prototypical frame. He’s also dealt with thigh, hamstring, shoulder and ankle injuries during his short pro career.
Those are the things everyone knows about Murray. People also know the first-overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft is a gifted playmaker who can undermine defenses through the air and on the ground.
Murray guided the Cardinals to an 11-7 record and a trip to the playoffs last season. In the process, he earned his second-straight Pro Bowl nod.
Murray’s accomplishments are why the Cardinals should be keen to sort out an extension. Things are currently at an impasse after NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero revealed the Cardinals “have not made any contract offer to their Pro-Bowl quarterback.”
While Pelissero also reported the Cards aren’t interested in trading Murray, he did say “other teams are monitoring this situation closely.” The Cardinals should want to see the Eagles on any list of possible trade partners because of the plethora of draft picks at their disposal.
Eagles Have the Means for Murray Deal
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman isn’t short of ammunition for a trade. He has two first-round picks this year and next. The Eagles also have a pair of third-round picks and three fifth-round selections in the 2022 draft.
There’s more than enough capital for the Eagles to trade for a franchise quarterback. It would depend on who in the front office believes Murray belongs in that category, but King’s assertion Hurts is a better option can’t be taken for granted.
Hurts impressed at times as a full-time starter in 2021, but he also endured his share of struggles. Aside from throwing only 16 touchdown passes, Hurts also tossed nine interceptions.
His struggles were underlined on third down, football’s money down, when he completed just 53.7 percent of his passes. Being able to make all the throws needed when defenses know to play pass is what separates good and great quarterbacks from the average ones.
Hurts still has a way to go to prove he belongs in the good to great bracket. Murray, on the other hand, is already there, despite any reservations about his injury history.
When healthy, he’s thrown 20 or more touchdowns in each of his three seasons in Arizona. Murray has also rushed for 20 touchdowns.
The Cardinals know it’s smart to build around Murray, something they have done by recruiting a talented and experienced supporting cast. Cardinals digital content creator Mike Jurecki believes bringing back veterans like running back James Conner and wide receiver A.J. Green will help Murray’s offense this year:
It’s beyond this season where things may change. Green is 33, center Rodney Hudson is 32, while tight end Zach Ertz is 31. There are also more than a few 30-somethings on the other side of the ball, including defensive end J.J. Watt and edge-rushers Markus Golden.
The time is fast approaching when GM Steve Keim is going to need to rebuild this Cardinals roster. That won’t be so straightforward if the franchise is on the hook for Murray’s next lucrative deal.
There’s no escaping the fact Murray will cash in, either with the Cardinals or another team. This QB market has been reset by the bumper deals given to Deshaun Watson and Derek Carr.
Murray and Baltimore Ravens’ starter Lamar Jackson are the next in line for new contracts, putting them in the box seat to take advantage of the richer market, per Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus:
If the tensions between the Cardinals, Murray and his agent don’t thaw by the summer, Keim may have to consider a trade. If that happens, there aren’t many teams around the league, including the Eagles, who shouldn’t be putting together offers tempting enough for the Cards to deal a signal-caller as talented as Murray.