The 2021 NFL season started with a ton of promise in the desert. Kyler Murray looked like a potential MVP, and the Cardinals appeared destined for the Super Bowl. Then just like the season before, the team struggled down the stretch in the regular season and got thumped, 34-11, in the Wild Card Round.
Various reports hinting at a deteriorating relationship between Murray and the team have led to questions about Murray’s future in Arizona. That, in turn, led to an interesting new sports betting market from BetMGM Arizona:
Which Arizona Cardinals QB will take the first snap in Week 1 of the Regular Season?
BetMGM Arizona has similar markets involving the Broncos, Giants, Jets, Saints, and Seahawks and their quarterbacks.
BetMGM Arizona: Will Kyler Murray Take Cardinals’ First Snap?
The betting odds for this market opened with Murray as the -1000 favorite, and “any other quarterback” listed as a +550 underdog. As of Thursday morning, however, the odds have shifted.
Kyler Murray -700
Any other quarterback +450
Whether Murray was going to suit up for the Cardinals wasn’t in question until the young quarterback wiped his social media accounts clean of everything having to do with the team. Rumors from ‘anonymous sources’ quickly began to paint an ugly picture. Murray was supposedly frustrated with the franchise and how the season played out. He also feels like he has been made the scapegoat.
ESPN reported that its sources also said the organization has issues with Murray, too. They went on to describe him as self-centered, immature, and prone to finger-pointing. Sounds like a divorce is imminent. Or is it…
As curious as it was for Murray to wipe his Instagram account clean, it was just as perplexing when the Cardinals did the same. Is the social media division being catty or something? That sounds like a good way to get fired and/or make sure Murray wants to leave town, but could the move also have something to do with the possibility of the Cardinals getting new uniforms?
Could the curious social media activity be all about rebranding? Maybe…
As the rumors making him out to be the scapegoat he didn’t want to be, ran rampant, Murray responded with a post on Instagram with him in his Cardinals uniform in which he said “all of this nonsense is not what I’m about” and that he is going to continue to strive to get better.
The team has released a statement making it sound like the team is happy with Murray and looking forward to the future. Of course, teams say nice things about players and coaches all the time right before firing/cutting them.
On Deck: What’s next for Arizona sports betting after the Super Bowl?
There is no reason why the Cardinals should even consider trading or doing anything other than exercising the fifth-year option on Murray’s contract. If any of the issues are rumored to exist, they can all be dealt with. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is ‘self-scouting’ and trying to figure out how to better help Murray. The draft should help improve the roster, and there’s free agency too.
As for Murray’s maturity — if there are any issues — it is not hard to help him out in that respect.
Cutting Murray loose now would do no good. The smart move would be to exercise the fifth-year option and wait another season before extending him. If he plays well and there is not a late-season slump, Murray gets an extension, and Kingsbury keeps his job. But if he doesn’t, then the Cardinals should try to move him.