Anonymous quotes, ominous reporting, social media scrubbings and statements - its been quite a week for the Arizona Cardinals and franchise quarterback Kyler Murray.
So what is really going on with the team and its star pupil? NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport joined me on The Drive to dive deeper into the drama between team and QB.
Below is a transcription between Ian and myself this morning. To listen to the full interview where we talk not only Kyler and the Cardinals but other quarterback trades, you can listen here:
Do you think Kyler Murray's name will pop up in trade rumors this offseason?
"I would say based on the nature of the NFL trade market - probably. What happens is teams see a name in the media and think, wow - this guy could be traded off call. I'm sure its happened. I think we in the media probably make a little too much of it. Um, I don't believe Kyler Murray is going anywhere nor should he. If you're the Arizona Cardinals and this is your second crack at a first-round quarterback, and you finally got one and he's great. Why would you trade him? (Having said that) There are some things he can work on. I think that was well established last week. Some of those stories I thought were kind of odd. I didn't get it nor did I know where it was coming from, nor did I see the point of it. He's your quarterback, he's not perfect, he's got to get better, but I don't think he's going anywhere."
Are you talking specifically about accountability and being a bad teammate?
"The personal attacks using anonymous sources to launch personal attacks. You don't see a lot of that in journalism anymore. I was surprised. I would be curious to see who the source there was. I don't know. It was surprising to me; you just don't see a lot of that. Very odd thing and I can see why Kyler is pretty fired up about it."
How would you describe the dynamic between Kyler & Cardinals?
"The relationship that I think they have to fix. There is definitely some angst, definitely some tension. I think (Kyler) needs to do a better job of some of the leadership things that we take for granted that quarterbacks just do. You lead, you inspire, you talk to teammates at halftime. You help people. You're the face of a franchise. Going to events where you represent the organization. I think a lot of that, Kyler doesn't do. Which when you're a young kid and trying to find your way like that's okay. But when you become an older dude, and you really do become the face of the franchise and everyone needs a little more of you, then you have to give a little more. That's just life. Life as a celebrity is not perfect because a lot of people ask a lot of things from you but that's part of what you get. I think he sort of needs to grow into that role. I think he will. Similar to Aaron Rodgers and the Packer situation, sometimes it takes some real, hard conversations to get everyone to realize like this is what's expected of you."
If nothing changes, how does anything change?
"I do think something has to change. Whether it something as simple as Kyler saying, I'm going to try to get better, I'm going to try focus on my teammates a little more, have better body language and react better in the moment. I think that's in his best interest to get better at. So, I do think some of that stuff will change. If they can do a contract extension, I think some of this will get easier. A lot of times when you have a contract issue, that highlights everything else. We see it all the time in the NFL. Little issues become big issues. I think if a contract was done, I think a lot of this stuff would be a little easier to deal with."
Is this all on Kyler Murray or do the Cardinals share the burden?
"I think the Cardinals equation is more on the field. Nobody likes how the end of the season ended. I don't know if that's anybody's, quote-on-quote, fault but if there's something that has to get better from the Cardinals standpoint, it has to find a better way to have a better football team at the end of the year."