ESPN’s Sando: If Murray’s the answer, Arizona has to jump at chance

Mar 5, 2019, 12:48 PM | Updated: Apr 1, 2019, 8:39 am
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The Kyler Murray debate used to be; will he play football or baseball?

Fast forward to the NFL Combine and it’s not a matter of what sport he’ll play now (sorry, Oakland Athletics), but where.

Do the Arizona Cardinals pull the trigger with the Oklahoma signal caller in the 2019 NFL Draft or stand pat with their incumbent QB in Josh Rosen?

If Murray is truly their guy, and Rosen isn’t, ESPN’s Mike Sando thinks it’s a move they need to take and not look back.

“If [Kliff Kingsbury] feels like he would be settling for Rosen and this is the one chance to get a guy that he’s on the record, before he had any connection to the Cardinals, as saying he would take first overall, if that’s not bluster and he feels that I think you’ve got to take the opportunity,” Sando told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday. “It’s not like Rosen was John Elway or Andrew Luck or No. 1 overall and we know for sure he’s going to be a top quarterback for a long time. We don’t really know that on Rosen.

“It wasn’t like [Rosen] was No. 1 overall and he’s coming off an All-Rookie team year so I think you could easily justify, ‘hey we’ve got our coach, it’s a do-over, let’s start fresh, let’s get something for Rosen … and move on with our guy.'”

Rosen’s rookie season was a rough one.

After taking over the reins from Sam Bradford in Week 3, Rosen went on to start 13 games, going 3-10 over that span. The signal caller completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He finished the season tied for fifth in interceptions thrown with Baker Mayfield and Jameis Winston, while he tied Marcus Mariota for 30th for touchdowns thrown.

It wasn’t entirely on Rosen, however.

With an O-Line that saw more than eight different combinations and the only consistent in the trenches was rookie center Mason Cole — he never missed a snap — Rosen was hit more often than not, getting sacked 45 times.

Taking last season into account, the asking price for the quarterback — should he become available — has been a focal point with the draft quickly approaching.

“I would think they would ask for a first-round pick and somebody might offer them a second and you go from there,” Sando said when asked what the Cardinals might get do in a potential deal. “Sometimes you see these deals happen where you give up something but you get something back too so maybe if someone gives a one maybe the Cardinals give back something else.

“I’ve kinda have felt like it might a two. It’s an interesting conundrum because everyone would know that Arizona sorta has to move [Rosen] probably and it’s not like you’re selling high, it’s not like Rosen’s coming off this amazing season. You’d be giving him to another team that’s also operating on a position of need.”

In an NFL landscape that’s adding more “college flavor,” as Sando put it, Arizona’s in the driver seat. But do the Cardinals decide to ride the new-age wave or stick to the more traditional route?

We’ll find out soon enough.

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ESPN’s Sando: If Murray’s the answer, Arizona has to jump at chance