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The Arizona Cardinals may not turn to a rookie quarterback in 2024 after all.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano suggested the NFC West team may keep Kyler Murray in place for longer than just next season so head coach Jonathan Gannon and the rest of the staff can evaluate him and make a long-term decision.
“To the Murray point, I definitely do not believe the Cardinals have ruled out the possibility he’s their quarterback in 2024 and beyond,” Graziano wrote. “The coaching staff and front office haven’t seen him play since they took over the team, and they want to see him in their system ideally for the rest of the season before deciding what to do.”
Outside of a new coaching staff getting the opportunity to evaluate Murray, there is also the financial element to any quarterback decision.
He is under contract through 2028 with a potential out after the 2027 season. Graziano explained it would cost the Cardinals $48 million in dead money if they made him a post-June 1 release and $46 million if they traded him.
Still, the opportunity to select a potential franchise quarterback with the No. 1 pick may be too enticing to pass up.
Arizona is currently in line to land the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft thanks to its 1-8 record, which would presumably mean choosing between players such as USC quarterback Caleb Williams, North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Georgia tight end Brock Bowers and others.
Murray hasn’t played this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but he is still the quarterback who was the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year and a back-to-back Pro Bowler in 2020 and 2021.
If he returns to the lineup and still looks like the same player at just 26 years old, the Cardinals may decide to continue building around him with weapons such as Harrison and let Williams and Maye fall elsewhere in the draft.