As trade speculation surfaces again, the Detroit Lions make absolutely no sense as a landing spot for Kyler Murray.
Here we go again. On Thursday NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Arizona Cardinals have not made a contract offer to quarterback Kyler Murray, and his agent has pulled the opening offer that was on the table. And without a new deal, he’s not expected to play for $5.5 million in 2022.
Murray caused a stir earlier this offseason when he scrubbed Cardinals’ references from his social media accounts, then he somehow wondered what all the fuss was about. The team continues to say he won’t be traded, but that tune could change if they tire of Murray’s act. And make no mistake, it is in part an act with the “I can go play baseball” card in his pocket.
The Detroit Lions are hardly a logical landing spot for Kyler Murray
Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports has come out with a list of 10 logical landing spots for Murray if the contract dispute leads to trade talks. As an easy mark, the Lions make the list.
Contrary to popular opinion, veteran placeholder Jared Goff is no longer unmovable; he can be cut after June 1 to save more than $10.5 million. They need a long-term answer under center, and their fans would be revitalized by a talent like Murray, who’d pair nicely with underrated playmakers like D’Andre Swift and D.J. Chark. More importantly, they have the ammunition to make it work, with two first-rounders in both 2022 and 2023.
The Lions can clear $10.65 million by cutting Jared Goff after June 1. But that move would still leave behind $20.5 million in dead money, according to Over The Cap, which was left out here. Two first-rounders in each of the next two drafts is viable ammunition to make a trade, and Murray would (in theory) provide a long-term solution under center.
But with acquiring Murray comes other stuff, not unlike his friend and former college teammate Baker Mayfield. In Murray’s case you’d have to pay him a big contract extension, while embracing the fact he’s a quarterback who’s built like a baseball outfielder (which he was, of course) and has intangible question marks he has shown signs of almost all along. Go back and find his interview with Dan Patrick at the Super Bowl before he was drafted–that’s not someone I want as my quarterback.
If the Cardinals are hesitating on a big long-term deal when they made Murray the No. 1 overall pick, that feels meaningful. He’s also a good but far from great quarterback, whose game drops off when he can’t use his mobility effectively.
It’s convenient to say the Lions should trade for Murray if he’s available. But convenience and logic still don’t connect here. If at some point Murray is no longer the Cardinals’ problem, he won’t be Detroit’s.