Kyler Murray invites Cardinals skill players to Dallas, per Kenyan Drake

Jun 18, 2020, 8:23 AM | Updated: 9:03 am
Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is congratulated by KeeSean Johnson #19, Larry...
Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is congratulated by KeeSean Johnson #19, Larry Fitzgerald #11 and Christian Kirk #13 after scoring on a 22 rushing touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFL game at Levi's Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has invited offensive skill players to Dallas for unofficial work before NFL training camps reopen, teammate Kenyan Drake said Thursday.

“We’re really excited and obviously we look really good on paper, but we’re going to come together,” Drake told Good Morning Football on NFL Network. “Actually, Kyler is inviting all the offensive skill players out to Dallas this week and we’re going to kind of come together.

“It’ll be the first time we actually came together as a unit since everything kind of unfolded before OTAs started. So I think it’ll be good camaraderie for all of us to come together, and Kyler was gracious enough to invite everybody out there, you know, big money Kyler.”

Drake says “big money Kyler” because the quarterback is reportedly paying for 20 teammates to join him, reports NBC’s Mike Florio.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Murray has invited 20 teammates to Dallas for workout sessions that will run from Sunday to Wednesday. Murray is paying for the entire event, from travel to lodging to food. It will cost him more than $40,000.

The 20 players, per Florio, include the other three quarterbacks, four running backs, nine receivers and four tight ends. The 20 players invited all accepted the invitation to workout sessions that will include team-bonding activities like Top Golf and bowling around the on-field work.

With the very notable exception of receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona’s offensive personnel is familiar.

Hopkins is the only protected starter new to the team, and he comes in as the No. 1 target for Murray after the Cardinals acquired him in a blockbuster trade that sent running back David Johnson to the Houston Texans.

“You can never have too many weapons,” Murray said on a Zoom call Wednesday. “With D-Hop, man, he’s obviously the best receiver in the game. I’m super excited to have him, as I think everyone who is part of the Arizona Cardinals should be.

“I don’t like to speak on what’s going to happen (in terms of predictions),” Murray added. “I get to see him soon and we get to work. I’m super excited to get to play with him. I know what type of player he is, I know what type of dog he is, I know what type of heart he has.”

At running back, Drake returns to the Cardinals after being transition-tagged following an impressive eight-game run to end 2019. Behind him on the running back depth chart is returning backup Chase Edmonds, D.J. Foster and seventh-round draft pick Eno Benjamin, who went to high school in Wylie, Texas, just outside of Dallas.

The receiver room does not include any new significant additions outside of Hopkins. Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk fill in as the starters, while third-year pro Trent Sherfield and second-year picks Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson and Hakeem Butler will have to fight their way up the depth chart.

And at tight end, there’s more chemistry to build between Murray and a few new weapons. While veteran Maxx Williams will surely get his run, mid-year pickup and a favorite red zone target of Murray’s, Dan Arnold, is back, as is Darrell Daniels.

As for what comes after player-called gatherings, it’s unknown. The NFL has not yet set dates for training camps to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic and remains in a remote work phase through June 26.

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