Cardinals Rumors

James Conner Wants To Stay With Cardinals 

James Conner seems to have found a home with the Cardinals. As he plays out his one-year contract in the desert, the running back says he has little reason to leave.

Man, I want to win a Super Bowl here,” Conner said (via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic). “I love the weather and everything this team has going and my teammates out here and the coaching staff. I don’t see why not, why I wouldn’t want to be here. We have all the resources and everything we need to be successful. We’re going to take it one week at a time first. We’ve got a big game against Chicago coming up. But after the season, I’ve got a lot of love for the Cardinals, so we’ll see what happens.”

Conner, 27 in May, has found paydirt eight times over the last five games, giving him a total of 13 touchdowns on the year. Through eleven games, that’s already enough to match his previous single-season best. Now, he has a chance to leapfrog Chris Johnson‘s all-time franchise record of 20 TDs.

Conner admitted that his “options were limited” when he agreed to join the Cardinals in the spring. Now, his one-year, $1.75MM contract stands as one of the best values in the NFL. There’s no doubt that Conner will get a big pay bump in 2022 — ideally, he says he’d like to make it happen in Arizona:

I just came, and I wanted to play my best football. My options were limited. This is the plan. It’s the Cardinals. And I wouldn’t want to be nowhere else right now.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/30/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

New England Patriots

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Cardinals Kliff Kingsbury On Oklahoma Rumors

With Lincoln Riley’s departure from the University of Oklahoma to become the head coach at the University of Southern California, Oklahoma has expressed interest in Cardinals’ head coach Kliff Kingsbury.

In a Monday afternoon press conference, Kingsbury emphasized his focus on the Cardinals’ upcoming game against the Bears, as Darren Urban of the team website tweets.

[I] don’t get into those things,” Kingsbury said. “We’re in-season, we’re 9-and-2, just not a topic I want to touch right now.”

Kingsbury does have experience as a head coach at the college level, having spending six years with the Texas Tech University Red Raiders. His combined of 35-40 wasn’t stellar, but he did groom several current NFL players in Lubbock, including Patrick Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, DeAndre Washington, and Jakeem Grant.

It does seem a bit unusual that an NFL coach in the midst of an NFC-leading season would even be thinking about moving back to the college ranks. Kingsbury’s lack of a denial is curious, but, in reality, it’s probably a play for extra leverage. With one more year to go on his contract, Kingsbury use OU’s interest to drive his next deal even higher.

Oklahoma Eyeing Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury

University of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has agreed to become the next head coach of the USC Trojans, according to sources who spoke with Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. In turn, the Sooners’ own search is underway, and they’re targeting Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). 

Kingsbury still has one full year remaining on his deal and it’s not clear if he’d consider a return to the college ranks. Given his recent success, it’d be nothing short of shocking. At 9-2, the Cardinals are bonafide contenders for the first time in a long time.

Kingsbury made his name at Texas Tech, even though his teams went just 35-40 during his time there. In an era where new bowls continue to spawn, the Red Raiders only qualified for bowl games in three of those six seasons. There was also a noticeable drop from the final Patrick Mahomes season (fifth in scoring) to the post-Mahomes teams — 23rd in points in 2017, 100th in 2018 — for the Red Raiders’ offense.

Despite the hiccups, Kingsbury’s quarterback-whispering skills scored him the Cardinals’ job, ahead of several big-name candidates with pro experience. Now, in Year 3, there’s no questioning that the Cardinals made the right pick. Even with Kyler Murray sidelined and Colt McCoy under center, Kingsbury’s Cardinals have managed to go 2-1 in their last three games.

The Cardinals will look to pad their NFC lead next Sunday when they face the Bears in Chicago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals OL Justin Murray Reverts To IR

After returning to practice earlier this month, Justin Murray could not move back onto the Cardinals’ active roster. The veteran offensive lineman’s season is now over.

Murray’s 21-day activation window closed on Thanksgiving, with SI.com’s Howard Balzer noting he suffered a setback upon returning to practice. Because the Cardinals did not move Murray back to their 53-man roster by Thursday, he reverts to IR and cannot play again until 2022.

Although Arizona has played without Murray since Week 3, when he suffered a back injury during the team’s win in Jacksonville, this hurts the NFC West leaders’ depth up front. Murray started at right guard in that Week 3 game and worked as a starter 19 times from 2019-20.

A former waiver claim from the Raiders in 2019, Murray signed a two-year deal worth $5.5MM. Murray, 28, is signed through the 2022 season. Marcus Gilbert‘s season-ending injury in 2019 thrust Murray into the Cards’ starting lineup at right tackle that year. Last season, the ex-Cincinnati Bearcat worked more at guard.

Kelvin Beachum and Josh Jones serve as the Cardinals’ right-side starters, but Murray would have certainly represented a serviceable swing man down the stretch.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions:  11/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Designated for return: WR Marquez Stevenson

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions:  11/22/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Jordan Brown

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/21

We’ll keep track of today’s stream of minor moves right here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Promoted: CB Gavin Heslop

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/17/21

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

  • Released: DB Bryan Mills

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans

Chiefs To Promote Shane Buechele

The Chiefs are promoting quarterback Shane Buechele from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (on Twitter). The move is being made to prevent the Cardinals from poaching him this week (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).

The Cardinals could use the extra insurance under center as Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy are both dealing with injuries. Murray’s status for this week is in doubt, thanks to his lingering ankle issue. Meanwhile, McCoy is still working through the pectoral injury he suffered on Sunday. If neither player is ready in time, QB3 Chris Streveler will likely start against the Seahawks.

Murray’s injury doesn’t seem all that serious, but the Cardinals are taking a cautious approach. They don’t want a repeat of last year, when the QB tried to fight through his shoulder trouble.

That was a nagging situation last year,” Kingsbury said (via the team website). “(Kyler) played through it and kind of toughed it out. But he probably wasn’t able to be 100 percent the back of the season. So, this year we want to make sure he can feel as good as possible. We have the bye coming up, and hopefully, that gives him more time to recover and hit that home stretch. If he can play Sunday, he will play, but we want to be smart with him.”

Now, the Cardinals will have to look elsewhere for help. The Chiefs, for now, will have two backups behind Patrick Mahomes in Buechele and Chad Henne.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.