Let's make one thing clear before we go any further: Kyler Murray is not Patrick Mahomes.
Despite being listed as an MVP favorite, ranking in the NFL's Top 100, winning Rookie of the Year and popping up in unexpected places in most offseason quarterback rankings, the Cardinals quarterback has a loooong way to go before he catches up with Mahomes.
And really, expecting Murray to catch up to- and keep pace with a generational talent like Mahomes is probably not advisable.
With all that being said, what has happened with Mahomes this offseason is a blueprint for what the Cardinals should be planning to do with Murray.
Kyler has many of the same qualities as Mahomes: freakishly talented, genuinely liked by virtually everyone he comes in to contact with (eventually anyway, considering Murray's well documented introvert-nature) and unlike most QB's that have come before him.
The biggest difference is on field success. Which also happens to be the biggest reason for Mahomes meteoric rise.
It has to be kind of weird to be Mahomes; 2020 has been a truly awful year for the vast majority Americans and yet here is Mahomes having one of the greatest years in athletic history.
So far he's had a Super Bowl MVP, a half billion dollar record setting contract and now partial ownership of a MLB franchise.
So what should the Cardinals being filing away through all of this?
Well, they need to be prepared to do the same with Kyler. Long term planning is critical to the long term success of any organization.
Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim should be operating under the assumption that they will be offering Kyler a contract in the neighborhood of $45-$50 million dollars per year beginning in the spring of 2022.
They should be working closely with the Diamondbacks to try and find creative ways to involve Kyler in the baseball world. Instead of partial ownership, Kyler may want a partial roster spot. I'd wager that sometime before Murray's career is over, he's going to want to dabble in MLB to prove to himself he can do it. Thats how athletes are largely wired - constantly needing a new challenge to validate their insatiable competitive fire. How can the Diamondbacks secure his rights? The Cardinals should be finding out.
If Kyler wants partial ownership, maybe reach out to ol' Bobby Sarvs and see if the Suns can carve out a ceremonial role for Kyler a la the Bucks and Aaron Rodgers. Involving Kyler wouldn't be unusual considering the Suns willingness to let Larry Fitzgerald take part in critical meetings in their front office.
It should all be on the table for Kyler. It should be drawn up and planned out now so the franchise has a chance at keeping Kyler as happy as possible when his breakthrough arrives and along with it the success of the Cardinals.
In 2020, athletes are like social media influencers. Their power to swing the economic power of an entire state is unmatched. Their ability to compel purchasing decisions is unrivaled. And their need to always feel like they are on the cutting edge of innovation and trends is well documented.
Patrick Mahomes has a head start that Kyler may never catch but the Cardinals should be planning for Kyler to win every race he's in.