Clayton Tune

Cardinals To Start Clayton Tune In Week 9

3:05pm: Not only will Murray not start this weekend, he will also not be activated from injured reserve today by the league’s 4:00pm deadline, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. There’s really no need to activate him if the Cardinals feel comfortable moving forward with Tune tomorrow, but with Murray’s 21-day practice window closing in the coming week, the clock is certainly ticking. If Murray isn’t activated this week, he will be forced to spend the remainder of the year on IR.

Backing up Tune tomorrow will be veteran backup quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was re-signed to the practice squad this week. The standard gameday elevation has not yet been announced but is expected with Tune currently standing as the sole quarterback on the active roster.

8:52am: Kyler Murray‘s return won’t come this weekend. Cardinals fifth-round rookie quarterback Clayton Tune is expected to get the start tomorrow against the Browns, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Cardinals traded Murray’s fill-in, Joshua Dobbs, earlier this week, an indication that the former first-overall pick was on the brink of playing. After being sidelined for the first half of the season while recovering from a torn ACL, Murray returned to practice last month, opening his 21-day window to be activated. As ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler points out, that activation window closes next week.

The team intended to take their quarterback decision down to the wire, with coach Jonathan Gannon telling reporters that he wanted to see how each of the players looked during Friday’s practice. While Gannon acknowledged that Murray has been pushing to return, the Cardinals wanted this to be an organizational decision. Per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss, the decision makers included Murray, Gannon, general manager Monti Ossenfort, and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, with owner Michael Bidwill also being kept in the loop.

“[Murray’s] told me he is ready — and I’m not even going to tell you when he told me he is ready — but he knows he needs to do certain things and keep stacking good days and keep getting reps and playing the position to be ready to play,” Gannon said yesterday (via Weinfuss).

While Murray continues to recover, the Cardinals will temporarily turn to Tune, a fifth-round pick out of Houston. The prospect put himself on the NFL map during the 2021 and 2022 seasons, tossing a combined 7o touchdowns vs. 20 interceptions. Dobbs played all of the snaps at QB for the Cardinals this season, although Tune did complete a single four-yard pass on a fake punt.

As ESPN’s Field Yates notes, Tune will be one of many QB changes in Week 9, with the Cardinals joining the Raiders (Aidan O’Connell), Vikings (Jaren Hall), Falcons (Taylor Heinicke), Giants (Daniel Jones), and Browns (Deshaun Watson) among the teams replacing their Week 8 starters. Further, Tune will become the ninth rookie QB to start a game this season; as Schefter notes, this already ties the full-season record for rookie starts.

Cardinals To Bench Josh Dobbs; Kyler Murray Week 9 Return In Play

The Cardinals may end up starting at least three quarterbacks for a second straight season, but Kyler Murray‘s extended onramp complicates matters for the NFC West team. One issue will be resolved following Week 8; the Cardinals are set to bench Josh Dobbs.

Jonathan Gannon said Monday the Cardinals will bench Dobbs for their Week 9 matchup against the Browns, with Clayton Tune now in the picture to start. That said, Gannon has not ruled out Murray returning Sunday, Darren Urban of tweets. Following the Cards’ Week 8 loss to the Ravens, Gannon said Dobbs would receive another start. But after meeting with the three QBs Monday morning, the rookie HC has changed his mind. It will be either a Tune cameo or Murray’s long-awaited return against the Browns.

[RELATED: Cardinals Not Shopping Kyler Murray]

While Murray is clearly close,’s Ian Rapoport reports Tune is likely to receive the call for the Cards’ Cleveland trip. With the Browns ranking first in pass defense, this promises to be a difficult spot for the fifth-round rookie. But the Cardinals are in a clear rebuild, having never been expected to vie for a playoff spot this season. Tune will receive an early audition for the presumptive role of Murray’s long-term backup.

Murray has until Nov. 8 to be activated, but after deeming the two-time Pro Bowler fully healthy, Gannon (via’s Mike Garafolo) has seen the fifth-year passer resemble his pre-injury version in practice. If the Cardinals are moving Dobbs out of the picture, a Murray activation could be imminent. Murray has not played since Week 14 of last season, when he suffered ACL and meniscus injuries. The Cardinals have given the dual-threat talent an extended runup to his fifth season — and first under Gannon and OC Drew Petzing.

Had the Cardinals profiled as a contending team coming into the season, Murray likely would have debuted already. But they are in a rebuild and sitting 1-7. Murray patience has made sense through this lens, and Rapoport adds a Week 10 return is the more likely scenario.

The Cardinals took Tune at No. 139 this year, drafting the ex-Houston Cougar as part of a Day 2 trade with the Lions. As Detroit moved back into Round 3 for defensive tackle Brodric Martin, Arizona continued to stockpile picks. The team had already traded back in Rounds 1 and 2, allowing the Texans and Titans respective access to Will Anderson and Will Levis. Months before Dobbs arrived via trade, Tune came to the desert as part of what was then a crowded depth chart. But Colt McCoy, David Blough and Jeff Driskel are no longer with the Cardinals. Tune has operated as Dobbs’ backup throughout this season.

Tune boasted an impressive stat line in 2022, throwing 40 touchdown passes and just 10 interceptions at the then-American Athletic Conference school. Over his final two years with the Cougars, Tune posted a 70-20 TD-INT ratio and averaged at least 8.8 yards per attempt in each slate. Tune should be expected to give way to Murray soon, but this will present an early opportunity. Should Murray return as the starter in Week 10, the Cards will have started seven QBs from 2022-23. McCoy, Blough and Trace McSorley started games last season.

Cardinals Release QB Colt McCoy; Kyler Murray To Begin Season On PUP List

Per Ian Rapoport of, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray will begin 2023 on the reserve/PUP list, which will require him to miss at least the first four games of the season. The bigger surprise is that Colt McCoy, who spent the past two seasons as Murray’s backup in Arizona, has been released, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.

Murray, of course, is the club’s franchise passer, and he signed a massive contract extension last July. But he suffered an ACL tear and a torn meniscus late in the 2022 season, and while there was some initial optimism that he would be cleared for Week 1 of the upcoming campaign, it had become increasingly apparent that would not be the case. As Arizona is clearly in rebuild mode — and perhaps in line for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2024 draft — it simply does not make sense for the team to rush Murray back onto the field.

Even after the recent trade that brought Josh Dobbs to the desert, the expectation was that McCoy would open the season as the Cardinals’ starting signal-caller, with Dobbs serving as his backup and fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune as the third-stringer. On the other hand, new Cardinals offensive coordinator Drew Petzing worked as the Browns’ quarterbacks coach in 2022, when Dobbs was on the Cleveland roster, so there is some familiarity there. Additionally, McCoy’s 2022 season was cut short due to a concussion, and he spent time on IR with a calf injury prior to that. An elbow problem sidelined McCoy at the outset of this year’s offseason program.

The McCoy release creates $1.5MM of cap space for the Cardinals while leaving the club with a dead money charge of $3.5MM, as Mike Jurecki of Arizona Football Daily observes. As such, it seems clear that the move was not financially motivated and was instead designed to give younger players who might have longer futures with the team more of an opportunity.

McCoy, who will turn 37 next month, contemplated retirement this offseason. It is now fair to wonder if he will hang up the cleats or search for another opportunity to extend his playing career. The Texas product has started 36 games in the NFL, and though his 11-25 record as a starter is obviously uninspiring, he has had stretches of quality play. In 2021, for instance, he started three games in relief of an injured Murray and went 2-1 while completing 74.7% of his passes for three TDs against one interception.

Browns To Trade QB Josh Dobbs To Cardinals

The Cardinals are still not done on the trade front. Arizona is on the acquiring end of a deal this time, however. The Browns are trading quarterback Josh Dobbs and a 2024 seventh-round pick to the Cardinals for a 2024 fifth-rounder (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network). CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones was the first to report (via Twitter) that Dobbs was on his way to the desert.

Jones adds that that Kellen Mond has not, in fact, been placed on waivers. Such a move was announced by the team earlier today, but with Dobbs no longer in the fold, the Browns will retain Mond to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. Most significantly, this news confirms that rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson has done enough to win the backup job behind Deshaun Watson.

This move ends a second Dobbs tenure early. The Browns had rostered Dobbs as their Jacoby Brissett backup last year, but Watson’s return from suspension led to the team cutting him. Dobbs ended up in Detroit and then Tennessee, where he was immediately called upon to start (over Malik Willis) in the Titans’ final two games. Now, the veteran reserve, months after rejoining the Browns on a one-year deal worth $2MM, will join a Cardinals team that came into the day with five QBs rostered. The move points to Kyler Murray remaining on Arizona’s PUP list to start the season.

The trade also comes not long after Kevin Stefanski (via’s Mary Kay Cabot) had named Dobbs as their backup. That was believed to be the plan all along, with the seventh-year vet operating as QB2 as Thompson-Robinson developed. This move will still allow for Thompson-Robinson to grow behind Watson, though an injury to the starter would throw the fifth-round rookie into the fire.

Although Colt McCoy, David Blough, Jeff Driskel and fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune are on Arizona’s roster, the Cardinals brought in Dobbs, who has a history with new OC Drew Petzing. The Browns’ QBs coach last year will bring in Dobbs as McCoy insurance, per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss (on Twitter). McCoy’s season ended early because of a concussion last year, and he went on IR with another issue prior to that. An elbow problem sidelined McCoy to start this offseason program as well. The 14th-year veteran is going into his age-37 season. Under contract for one more year, McCoy considered retirement this offseason.

To start the year, the Cards’ depth chart will likely be McCoy-Dobbs-Tune at QB, Weinfuss adds. With Petzing on board as the play-caller,’s Tony Grossi notes the Cardinals tried to sign Dobbs as a free agent. Thompson-Robinson’s emergence changed the Browns’ thinking regarding their QB depth chart, per Grossi.

Despite Dobbs coming into the league as a 2017 fourth-round pick, he had only attempted 17 passes coming into December of last year. The Titans summoned the rocket scientist, and he completed 69% of his passes in a do-or-die game against a much healthier Jaguars squad. The injury-plagued Titans pushed the Jags in that Week 18 game, with Dobbs throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown. Mired in some QB uncertainty until Murray returns, the Cardinals now have the former Steelers draftee in a familiar system.

Adam La Rose contributed to this post.

Cardinals Sign First-Round OL Paris Johnson Jr.

The Cardinals have officially signed their first-round pick. The team announced that they’ve inked Paris Johnson Jr. to his rookie contract.

Arizona was reportedly in pursuit of an offensive lineman in the draft. Despite trading out of the third-overall pick, they still got their way when they selected Johnson with the sixth-overall pick.

Johnson took on a larger role at Ohio State in 2022, appearing in 13 games. The 6-6, 315-pound blocker allowed only a pair of sacks last year, and as a result of his performance, he earned a consensus All-American selection and was graded as one of Pro Football Focus’ top offensive tackle prospects in the draft.

The Cardinals were in dire need for depth along the offensive line after having allowed 44 sacks last year. This offseason, they’ve re-signed right tackle Kelvin Beachum and added veteran Elijah Wilkinson, and they’ll also welcome back veteran D.J. Humphries, who missed much of last season. As a result of the added depth, Johnson may not immediately start at LT, but his versatility shouldn’t make that much of an issue.

The Cardinals also announced that they’ve signed four other draft picks: third-round wide receiver Michael Wilson, fourth-round offensive lineman Jon Gaines II, fifth-round quarterback Clayton Tune, and fifth-round linebacker Owen Pappoe. That leaves four rookies unsigned, including second-round linebacker B.J. Ojulari.

Cardinals Choose QB Clayton Tune At No. 139

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune is heading to the desert. The Cardinals are taking the multiyear Cougars starter at No. 139.

Tune’s arrival comes after Trace McSorley left for the Patriots and at a time in which the Cardinals are not certain who their Week 1 starting quarterback will be. Kyler Murray‘s status for the Arizona opener is very much in doubt, and Colt McCoy also missed the conclusion of the Cards’ 2022 season.

Murray is expected to make an early-season return from his December ACL tear, but the Cards’ franchise quarterback does not sound like he will be ready for Week 1. McCoy battled arm and calf issues, leading him to IR, but he resurfaced to replace Murray for two games prior to the latter’s ACL tear. McCoy sustained a concussion in Week 15, his third start of the season, and did not play again. The Cardinals cleared their backup from concussion protocol in Week 17, but McCoy experienced more symptoms during a practice soon after and finished the season out of action. McCoy is going into his age-37 season; one year remains on his contract.

While Murray and McCoy did not finish last season, the Cardinals do now have a crowded QB room. They recently signed Jeff Driskel, and David Blough is on Arizona’s offseason roster as well. Tune moves the position group to five.

ESPN’s Scouts Inc. ranked Tune as this year’s ninth-best QB prospect, slotting him 188th overall. The Cougars gunslinger posted a 40-touchdown pass, 10-interception season as a senior last year, throwing for 4,074 yards. This comes after a 30-10 year in 2021. Taking over for D’Eriq King with the American Athletic Conference school, Tune put up some nice numbers in helping the team to 20 wins over the past two years. Houston was a bit more successful in 2021, going 12-2. The 6-foot-2 passer will now see if he can crack the Cardinals’ 53-man roster.