One day away from the NFL season, one question remains that has lingered throughout this offseason: Are the Arizona Cardinals this year's version of the 2019 Cleveland Browns?
On the surface, how could they not be? Baker Mayfield was a second-year, former Heisman winner out of Oklahoma, coming off an attention grabbing rookie year. So is Kyler Murray. Odell Beckham Jr. was traded out of nowhere by the team that drafted him, for what many thought was below market value in return. So was DeAndre Hopkins. Freddie Kitchens was the new school quarterback whisperer hand picked to develop his second-year quarterback into a stud. So is Kliff Kingsbury.
The Browns went 6-10. So will the... wait... well, maybe. Let's back it up a little.
Comparing last year's Browns to this year's Cardinals is like comparing Jesse Plemons to Matt Damon.
At first glance, they're identical twins. Stare long enough, and you'll notice that Kliff Kingsbury has a much well-defined jawline than Freddie Kitchens, as Matt Damon does compared to Jesse Plemons. Duh.
Seriously, though, let's run down this list one more time.
Mayfield vs Murray: Baker Mayfield is the loud, obnoxious, self-promoting Heisman whose athleticism looks questionable at the NFL level. There's a reason he was a walk on at Texas Tech, and then Oklahoma. Kyler Murray is the quiet, unassuming Heisman who is so athletic he was drafted in the first round of the NFL and MLB. In Mike Sando's annual quarterback tiers column - voted on by 50 NFL coaches and evaluators - Murray was ranked #14, while Mayfield was ranked #21 in the 2020 edition.
Beckham Jr. vs Hopkins: Odell Beckham Jr. is the outrageously famous wide receiver who hangs with Drake, lives in the news and who has missed 16 games over the past 3 seasons with injuries. Deandre Hopkins is the famously low-key wide receiver who’s never missed a game due to injury, has consistently been more productive than OBJ, and who played the second half of last year’s divisional playoff game with a broken rib. Oh, and Hopkins also negotiated his own $54.5 million dollar extension this week.
Kitchens vs Kingsbury: Freddie Kitchens looks like he should be on the cover of Guns and Ammo magazine. Kliff Kingsbury looks like he should be on the cover of GQ magazine. Instagram models flock to Kingsbury. Freddie Kitchens hopes to call a flock of geese.
I hope I've settled this debate.