Only one minor move to pass along today:
Beasley came out of retirement to rejoin the Bills in mid-December. He got into two regular season games with Buffalo, hauling in two catches for 18 yards. Murray appeared in five games for the Bills this season, with the majority of his snaps coming on special teams.
One of several Bills to finish Sunday’s game unavailable, Tommy Doyle suffered a season-ending ACL tear. Sean McDermott confirmed the injury, which will remove one of Buffalo’s backup blockers from the equation.
To replace Doyle on the active roster, the Bills signed veteran Justin Murray to a one-year contract. This will be Murray’s seventh team, though the 2016 UDFA has only seen action with the Raiders and Cardinals.
The Cardinals claimed the well-traveled blocker off waivers from the Raiders in 2019 and, after then-right tackle Marcus Gilbert went down, plugged the newcomer into their lineup. Murray, 29, has experience at guard and right tackle. He started 19 games in those roles between the 2019 and ’20 seasons for the Cards, who signed him to a two-year, $5.5MM extension during the latter campaign.
A back injury last season led Murray to IR, and although he returned to practice, the 21-day activation window closed without the Cards moving him to their 53-man roster. That inaction led to Murray’s 2021 season ending after three games. Arizona cut Murray this year. Following a Raiders workout, the former Cincinnati Bearcat will have a chance to be a Bills backup.
Doyle was part of Buffalo’s backup O-line crew, one that became needed extensively in a grueling game in Miami. By game’s end, the Bills had five available offensive linemen. Doyle, whom the Bills drafted in last year’s fifth round, will not have a chance to rejoin his team on the field until next year.
A run of Bills health issues led Doyle to play a career-high 37 offensive snaps in Week 3. Center Mitch Morse was unavailable in Week 3, while right guard Ryan Bates suffered a concussion. Right tackle Spencer Brown left the Miami game due what the team called a heat-related illness, and interior backup Greg Van Roten departed the game as well. The team was already without backup Bobby Hart due to his one-game suspension. It will be interesting to see what the Bills’ O-line looks like against the Ravens, a contest that should involve more comfortable temperatures, in Week 4.
The Cardinals have set their 53-man roster, and the team naturally had to make some tough decisions as they cut down their roster:
- TE Stephen Anderson
- LS Aaron Brewer
- OL Rashaad Coward
- OL Danny Isidora
- LB Devon Kennard (story)
- OL Justin Murray (injury settlement)
- DL Christian Ringo (injury settlement)
- DL Antwaun Woods
- WR Andre Baccellia
- WR Victor Bolden Jr.
- QB Jarrett Guarantano
- DL Manny Jones
- WR Jontre Kirklin
- LB Jesse Luketa
- QB Trace McSorley
- WR JaVonta Payton
- TE Bernhard Seikovits
- CB Jace Whittaker
- S James Wiggins
- LB Chandler Wooten
Placed on IR:
Placed on reserve/suspended:
It sounded like Trace McSorley had an opportunity to stick on the roster as a third QB behind Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy, but the Cardinals decided to carry only a pair of quarterbacks through their first wave of cuts. There’s a chance that McSorley resurfaces on the practice squad. The former sixth-round pick has seen time in three career games, completing three of his 10 pass attempts for 90 yards and one touchdown.
Aaron Brewer is a bit of a surprise cut after serving as the Cardinals full-time long snapper for the past six years. However, there’s a good chance the 32-year-old lands back on the active roster once the Cardinals place players on their respective reserve lists. The same could also probably be said of tight end Stephen Anderson, who caught 24 passes across 33 games with the Chargers over the past two seasons.
Marquis Hayes was a seventh-round pick by the Cardinals in this year’s draft. The Oklahoma product will sit out his rookie campaign while sitting on injured reserve.
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.
Previously ruled out for the Cardinals’ Monday night game, J.R. Sweezy will miss a chunk of their season. The Cards placed the starting guard on IR. Both Sweezy and Arizona defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence landed on IR Saturday.
The former Seahawks starter suffered an elbow injury that will sideline him for at least three games. Lawrence is dealing with a calf malady. Sweezy rated as Pro Football Focus’ No. 54 guard through five games this season.
Since missing the entire 2016 season and being a Buccaneers cut, Sweezy has been a dependable lineman. The Seahawks brought him back and used him as a starter throughout their 2018 playoff season, and Sweezy has started 21 straight games since signing with the Cardinals in 2019. The Cards have, however, dealt with extensive injuries up front in recent years. This marks a key setback for this year’s more successful squad.
Despite the Cards employing veteran Max Garcia, third-year blocker Justin Murray will replace Sweezy in Arizona’s starting lineup. Murray started 12 games at right tackle last season. Murray was already seeing time at guard in a rotation with Sweezy and Justin Pugh. He has played 19% of Arizona’s offensive snaps this season.
The Cardinals have signed Justin Murray to a two-year contract extension, per a club announcement. The offensive lineman can earn up to $9MM over the course of deal, which will keep him under contract through the 2022 season.
As OverTheCap.com details, the extension is worth $5.5MM in new money. That includes a $1MM signing bonus, a $1.75MM salary in 2021, and a $2.25MM salary in 2022. The 2021-22 seasons also include up to $250K in per-game active roster bonuses. So presumably the $3.5MM difference between the $5.5MM new money value and the $9MM maximum are comprised of other incentives.
Murray, a Cincinnati product, has bounced around quite a bit since he first entered the league with the Broncos in 2016. After stops with the Broncos, Buccaneers, Saints, Bengals, and Raiders, he landed with the Cardinals in 2019 and was quickly thrust into the starting lineup. Murray started in 12 of his 14 games with Arizona, where he has found a real NFL home. Thanks in part to Murray, the Cardinals averaged over five yards per carry in 2019.
The Cardinals re-upped Murray on his low-cost exclusive rights free agent tender earlier this year, and they’ve rewarded him with a fresh deal midway through the 2020 season. No longer serving as the Cardinals’ starting right tackle, Murray now backstops Kelvin Beachum at RT while also supporting J.R. Sweezy at right guard.
This week, the Cardinals will look to advance to 3-1 when they face the Panthers in Carolina.