Cardinals Rumors

Kyler Murray Contractually Can’t Play Baseball

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray caused a bit of a kerfuffle earlier this week when he indicated he still had interest in playing baseball at some point. “I think I could. … Athletically, I think yeah, I could do it. I’ve been playing both my whole life. I would love to add that to the resume,” he told Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link).

Fortunately for Cardinals fans, they don’t have to worry about that anytime soon. Murray’s NFL contract specifically bars him from pursuing his other sport in any form, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapoport reviewed the language of Murray’s deal, which rules out “any baseball related activity, tryout, workout, scrimmage, any exhibition, from any baseball team in any baseball league.”

Murray, of course, was previously a two-sport athlete. He was drafted early in the first round by the Oakland Athletics a few years ago, and until he took over for Baker Mayfield as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback, it was widely assumed he would pursue a MLB career. Then he ended up exceeding all expectations in his one season of college football, winning the Heisman Trophy. After leaving his future up in the air for a while, Murray eventually fully committed to football and announced he would withdraw from his deal with Oakland back in February of last year.

A couple months later, the Cardinals drafted him first overall. Murray had an up and down rookie season in his first year playing under Kliff Kingsbury, but he showed plenty of flashes. The potential Rookie of the Year, he finished with 24 total touchdowns and had some huge games. It isn’t totally unheard of for a player to compete in both sports, as Deion Sanders famously played in the NFL and MLB at the same time. That being said, it would be much tougher for a quarterback to attempt such a thing. Maybe one day Murray will find his way back to the diamond, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll be anytime soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald To Return

Retirement can wait. On Wednesday, Larry Fitzgerald agreed to a new one-year deal with the Cardinals, setting the stage for his 17th season in Arizona.

The new deal mirrors Fitzgerald’s 2019 pact. No. 11 will earn a base salary of $11MM for the fifth-straight year, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. He’ll also see a roster bonuses of $500K with $250K in additional incentives.

Fitzgerald, the NFL’s oldest active wide receiver, was on the fence about playing in 2020. At the same time, he admitted that he had more fun this past season than in previous seasons.

Fitzgerald led the Cardinals with 804 receiving yards and did not miss a game for the fifth straight campaign. With that, the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer will lace ’em up for at least one more year.

Fitzgerald entered the league as a first-round pick in 2004. Since then, he’s reached the Pro Bowl eleven times and, last year, he moved into second place on the NFL’s all-time receptions list, slotting him between Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez. He’s also No. 2 in receiving yards, second only to Rice.

The Cardinals are coming off of a trying 5-10-1 season, but there’s reason for hope, including star quarterback Kyler Murray. They can also carve out as much as $74MM for free agents in March and add another impact player with the No. 8 overall pick in April.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Updated 2020 NFL Draft Order

The stage has been set for the conference championships. The Titans, Chiefs, 49ers, and Packers are moving on to the semifinals, while the Texans, Seahawks, Ravens, and Vikings will begin planning for the offseason ahead. Unfortunately for the Texans, their first round pick belongs to the Dolphins.

Here’s an updated look at the 2020 NFL Draft order from Nos. 1-28:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5 Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

25. Vikings (10-6)

26. Dolphins (via Texans 10-6)

27. Seahawks (11-5)

28. Ravens (14-2)

NFL Draft Rumors: Lions, Giants, Dolphins

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

  • Miller would be positively stunned if the Bengals don’t draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall and the Redskins don’t grab Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 pick.
  • With that in mind, Miller feels the draft truly starts at No. 3 overall, where the Lions pick. Sources tell Miller that they’ll look heavily at Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown. Then again, it’s a prime trade-back spot – teams like the Dolphins, Chargers, and Panthers could move up to land a QB.
  • Unless new head coach Joe Judge sways him in a different direction, Giants GM Dave Gettleman is expected to look at edge-rushers, left tackles, and wide receivers with the No. 4 pick. “He can’t help himself with linemen, so slot your top-rated offensive tackle there,” one scout who previously worked with Gettleman said. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas rank among the top tackles in this year’s crop.
  • No team has done more work on Oregon’s Justin Herbert than the Dolphins, who own the No. 5 pick and two more selections later on, Miller writes. The Dolphins will almost certainly go QB here, then shift their attention to offensive tackle, edge-rusher, and running back help.
  • The same source who tipped Miller off to the Cardinals‘ love of Kyler Murray last year says they’re wild about Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. But, internally, they also feel that the offensive line need is too big to overlook.
  • The Raiders, with two picks in the first round, are looking to go defense and wide receiver, Miller hears.
  • The Bills are already nervous about other teams leapfrogging them for wide receivers, Miller hears. The Bills own the No. 22 overall pick and nine total selections in the draft.
  • The Patriots are impossible to read, but none of Miller’s sources believe that they’ll draft a quarterback early on. Tom Brady has vowed to continue playing, but he’ll also explore his options in free agency.

Updated 2020 NFL Draft Order

After a weekend full of drama and upsets, four more spots have been determined in this year’s NFL Draft order. Most notably – the Patriots will pick No. 23 overall, their highest original pick since 2006.

Here’s the updated rundown, from Nos. 1-24:

1. Bengals (2-14)

2. Redskins (3-13)

3. Lions (3-12-1)

4. Giants (4-12)

5. Dolphins (5-11)

6. Chargers (5-11)

7. Panthers (5-11)

8. Cardinals (5-10-1)

9. Jaguars (6-10)

10. Browns (6-10)

11. Jets (7-9)

12. Raiders (7-9)

13. Colts (7-9)

14. Buccaneers (7-9)

15. Broncos (7-9)

16. Falcons (7-9)

17. Cowboys (8-8)

18. Dolphins (via Steelers 8-8)

19. Raiders (via Bears 8-8)

20. Jaguars (via Rams 9-7)

21. Eagles (9-7)

22. Bills (10-6)

23. Patriots (12-4)

24. Saints (13-3)

Cardinals Fire ST Coordinator

The Cardinals are in the market for a new special teams leader. They fired ST coordinator Randall McCray, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio tweets. After 26 seasons in the college ranks, McCray joined Steve Wilks‘ Cardinals staff. This was his first NFL job. Additionally, Arizona will sever ties with defensive line coach Chris Achuff, Marvez adds. Also a holdover from Wilks’ staff, Achuff had made the college-to-pro transition, with his most recent role marking his initial NFL gig.

Here is the latest from the NFC West, pivoting first to the Cardinals’ most famous player:

  • The NFL’s oldest active wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald led the Cardinals with 804 receiving yards and did not miss a game for the fifth straight season. But yet again, the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer will take time to ponder retirement. Fitz, however, did add that he enjoyed this season more than recent ones, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. The 2004 first-round pick moved into second place on the NFL’s all-time receptions list this season, currently sitting between Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez with 1,378. Kliff Kingsbury plans to give Fitzgerald an offseason sales pitch to return for his age-37 season.

Reserve/Futures Contracts: 12/30/19

With the regular season behind us, teams can start signing players to reserve/futures contract. This ties the player to the team’s 90-man offseason roster.

Several teams have already started completing these deals, which we’ve compiled below:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions:

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Promoted from practice squad: QB Drew Anderson
  • Placed on IR: TE Darrell Daniels

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

New York Jets

2020 NFL Draft Order As Of Week 17

With one week remaining in the regular season, the 2020 NFL Draft order is starting to take shape. The 1-14 Bengals have locked up the No. 1 overall pick, but the rest of the board will be dependent on the outcome of Week 17’s games.

Here’s a look at where things stand:

1. Bengals: 1-14
2. Redskins: 3-12
3. Lions: 3-11-1
4. Giants: 4-11
5. Dolphins: 4-11
6. Jaguars: 5-10
7. Chargers: 5-10
8. Panthers: 5-10
9. Cardinals: 5-9-1
10: Jets: 6-9
11. Broncos: 6-9
12. Browns: 6-9
13. Falcons 6-9
14. Raiders 7-8
15. Cowboys 7-8
16. Colts 7-8
17. Buccaneers 7-8
18. Raiders (via Bears) 7-8
19. Dolphins (via Steelers) 8-7
20. Jaguars (via Rams) 8-7
21. Eagles 8-7
22. Titans 8-7
23. Bills 10-5
24. Vikings 10-5
25. Dolphins (via Texans) 10-5
26. Chiefs 11-4
27. Seahawks 11-4
28. Packers 12-3
29. Patriots 12-3
30. Saints 12-3
31. 49ers 12-3
32. Ravens 13-2

Cardinals Considering Staff Shakeup

With a 5-9-1 record heading into the season finale, the Cardinals are understandably planning some changes in the offseason. Those plans may include a shakeup of the coaching staff, as head coach Kliff Kingsbury tells the team website. 

Kingsbury will sit down with GM Steve Keim and chairman and owner Michael Bidwill to discuss the futures of his coaches. From the sound of it, those decisions will not be entirely up to the first-year coach.

It’s the first time I’ve ever worked with a GM on that side of things,” Kingsbury said. “With Michael and Steve, (we’ll) sit down in a room and talk about each position group and be brutally honest with ourselves and each other and come to a good place. That relationship to me has been vital, with Steve, where we are very upfront with each other, with what he sees and what I see. Michael has the final say. I like where the relationship is at, and we’ll find out after the season.”

Kingsbury – an NFL neophyte – leaned heavily on Keim’s suggestions to find assistants with pro experience. After one season in the league, Kingsbury admits that he still doesn’t know a ton of coaches in NFL circles.

As of this writing, the Cardinals are slated to pick No. 9 overall in the draft. They’ll finish up the 2019 season on Sunday when they take on the Rams in Los Angeles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.