There's no doubt the Arizona Cardinals appear to be moving in the right direction. Despite residing in what is arguably the toughest division in the NFL, Arizona has a forward-thinking, offensive-minded head coach in Kliff Kingsbury, they acquired one of the best wideouts in the NFL via trade this offseason and most importantly, they appear to have their quarterback of the future in Kyler Murray.
The former No. 1 overall pick was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year last season after throwing for 3,722 yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.4 percent of his passes. Murray is embracing the heightened expectations entering his second season, and he's so confident in his wide receiving corps that he believes the Cardinals could support three 1,000-yard wide receivers. When recently asked if Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk could all pass the 1,000-yard mark, Murray didn't bat an eye.
"Oh, yeah for sure. I definitely think that's possible," Murray said, via Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.
Three wideouts, tight ends or running backs on the same team who each racked up 1,000 yards receiving in a single season is something that has only happened five times in NFL history. In fact, the last team to do it was the Cardinals back in 2008. Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston combined for 262 receptions and all passed the 1,000-yard mark as Kurt Warner and Co. led the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII.
Fitzgerald has recorded nine 1,000-yard seasons over his career, but he will turn 37 in a few weeks. Still, he came just 196 yards away from 1,000 receiving yards last year with a rookie quarterback, so you can't count him out. Hopkins has recorded three straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, and it would be disappointing if he failed to do so during his first season in Arizona. As for Kirk, he recorded a career-high 709 receiving yards and three touchdowns with the Cardinals in 2019. The former Texas A&M star has played well when given the opportunity and could be a candidate to again put up career-high numbers in 2020.
Having three 1,000-yard receivers on the roster is definitely a lofty goal for the Cardinals to have, but when it comes down to it, this possibility hinges on Murray. If he can make as big of a jump from year one to year two as Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson did, then maybe this is something Kingsbury could see come to fruition.
Having said that, things could look a little different for Hopkins in his first year over in Arizona. Hopkins grew accustomed to being among the league leaders in targets in Houston, topping out with a league-leading 174 in 2017 and never dipping below 150 targets in any single season over his last three. In a different offensive system in Arizona, with a focus on spreading the wealth, Hopkins could see a significant drop in his target share.