As the world turns for the Arizona Cardinals and disconcerted quarterback Kyler Murray, team general manager Steve Keim has made it known that trading the franchise quarterback isn’t in the cards.
Asked Thursday at a pre-draft news conference if Murray — who is not expected to play for the team until he gets a contract extension — could be traded, Keim’s reply was short and emphatic.
Roughly two hours after Keim’s Thursday comments, Murray chimed in in reference to chatter Wednesday from former teammates Patrick Peterson and Chase Edmonds, who each doubted he would finish his career with Arizona.
“I wanna win Super Bowls with the Cardinals,” Murray tweeted, “AZ is home.”
Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill echoed Keim’s comments in a conversation with The Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers.
“Yea, that’s not happening,” Bidwill said. “There’s just too much outside noise that people listen to. We understand that’s just part of what goes on these days with social media. It’s just not the case.”
Though not directly in response to Keim’s comments, Murray seems devoted to staying with the Cardinals — just not until it’s under a different contract.
Murray is entering the fourth season of his rookie contract, with the Cardinals likely to pick up his fifth-year option. The timing of Murray’s hardline on an extension is of note, even more so when considering he’s coming off a 2021 season that was a disappointment for the QB and the franchise as a whole. Murray was 19 of 34 (55.8%) for 137 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions and a 40.9 passer rating in the Cardinals’ season-ending NFC wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Rams. It brought to an end a campaign in which Arizona began with a 7-0 start and ended with five losses in its last six games (including the postseason).
“Nothing’s changed,” Keim said, via the Arizona Republic’s Bob McManaman. “Really the way we’ve approached it is we have free agency, we have the draft and then we’ll take a deep breath and sort of refocus. That’s the same reason that every other player that’s been a third-year quarterback has done in the middle of summer to late summer and it’s no different for us.
“It’s just sort of the way that the system works. Nothing has changed as far as him being our long-term and short-term quarterback.”
It’s a system that quite obviously isn’t working for the 24-year-old Murray and his management.
Not long after playing in his first Pro Bowl (he’s had two overall selections), Murray scrubbed his Instagram of any Cardinals mentions and began an offseason of tumult and uncertainty.
In the aftermath of Murray’s social media cleanse, reports surfaced that Arizona was looking for Murray to take a step forward with his leadership and maturity.
Shortly thereafter, the relationship seemed to be on an upswing as it was reported Murray and the Cardinals were all good and on the same page.
However, only four days later, Murray’s agent released a novel of a statement detailing the desire for an extension. On April 14, the biggest shot yet was fired with the aforementioned news that the three-year quarterback was unlikely to play a fourth year in Arizona until a new deal was worked out.
Despite his all-star signal-caller’s dismay, Keim isn’t ready to trade away his star QB. Keim realizes just how important it is to find a franchise QB and he isn’t about to send one packing.
“I was a decent GM when Carson Palmer was our quarterback,” Keim said. “When he retired, I wasn’t very good. I am smart enough to know that Kyler Murray makes me a better GM. We took him with the first overall pick. We love him. The guy’s continued to improve. He’s made us a better football team. So, we’re really excited about his future.”
And so the Murray-Cardinals drama carries on, but Keim doesn’t appear willing to let it end with his quarterback’s departure.