As a storm of speculation tying the Cardinals to Kyler Murray swirls, coach Kliff Kingsbury continues to publicly support the quarterback he inherited when he took the job a month ago. According to Kingsbury, he's prepared to give Josh Rosen "the keys to the castle."
"He needs to understand we are in this together and I want him to know he kind of has the keys to the castle and let's build this deal as a group," Kingsbury said, according to the Cardinals' team website. "Make sure he is comfortable with what we are doing, if he doesn't like something that is going on with this offense or the way I'm coaching it, let's talk about it and come up with the best answer. When (the QBs) have that type of ownership, it goes a long way."
The fact remains that until the draft comes and goes, the speculation tying the Cardinals to Murray will persist.
The Cardinals own the top pick in the draft. Murray has he would draft Murray with the first overall pick. Kingsbury now has the chance to do exactly that. The Cardinals could also try to trade back in the draft, snag some extra picks, and then use one of those picks later in the first round to take Murray.. In October, long before he'd become the Cardinals' coach, Kingsbury said
While the Cardinals just traded up in the first-round to take Rosen a year ago, they watched Rosen complete 55.2 percent of his passes, average 5.8 yards per attempt, throw three more interceptions than touchdowns, and post a 66.7 passer rating during his rookie season. In fairness to Rosen, the entire offense stunk, which led toand which led to the Cardinals going so far out of their way to hire an offensive-minded coach, , who went 35-40 at Texas Tech. In short, it's difficult to fairly evaluate Rosen given the circumstances around him. He wasn't good, but he wasn't exactly placed in the best possible situation to succeed.
Ever since Murray chose football over baseball, the Cardinals have done nothing but publicly support Rosen.
"Every time I've turned on the tape, there is something you like and something you can build with," Kingsbury said.
But that doesn't mean they wouldn't trade Rosen if they got a tempting offer and then let Kingsbury hand pick a quarterback in the draft. Likewise, just because Kingsbury said something in October before he was the Cardinals' coach doesn't mean he's actively trying to replace Rosen with Murray.
There's really no way to know for certain. What we do know is that with two months remaining until the draft, the storm of speculation will only continue to swirl. As Kingsbury himself said, "It comes with the territory."