As Field Level Media put it, "From slash-and-dash QB1, Kyler Murray falls to draft-and-stash territory with his uncertain return date from ACL surgery." Veteran backup Colt McCoy and fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune will compete for the job in the meantime. Murray, who missed two games with a hamstring strain in November before the season-ending knee injury, was unimpressive in 11 starts after signing a five-year, $230.5 million extension ($160M guaranteed) in July 2022. He averaged 215.3 passing yards, 38.0 rushing yards and accounted for 17 touchdowns (three rushing). He posted two 300-yard games but threw two picks in one and zero TDs in the other. To be relevant again, he'll need somebody -- with Marquise Brown the most likely candidate -- to step up at wideout after the off-season release of DeAndre Hopkins.
It's all about uncertainty. The Cardinals placed Murray on the active/physically unable to perform list to open camp. The question is: Will he begin the season on the reserve/PUP list, which would cost him the first six weeks of the season? The two-time Pro Bowler allowed earlier in July that Week 1 was his goal. That is a long shot, realistically. Incoming HC John Gannon said the last week of July that Murray will be ready “when he tells me.”
2023 Bottom Line
The concerns go beyond Murray's health. The Cardinals are not good. It's possible they're looking to tank (and maybe even replace Murray with USC QB Caleb Williams). And while he regressed as a passer last season, Fantasy Pros reminded readers that Murray still finished QB2 in fantasy scoring in 2020, and "at his best he's a difference-making quarterback who can rack up fantasy points with both his arm and his legs." Might be worth the very-late round flier he'll cost you.