The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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The Choice Is Clear For the Cardinals

Kyler Murray is going to be good. What happened last night just sucks. You could see the agony on Kyler’s face immediately; a young athlete who has done nothing but trust his body and be rewarded for it was suddenly betrayed by that same body and the feeling of invincibility was permanently punctured.

It sucks and I feel for Kyler but he is going to be good to go in a year or so and will join the likes of Donovan McNabb, Joe Burrow and even Tom Brady who all overcame torn ACL’s to reach significant heights.

Are the Cardinals going to be fine? That I’m not so sure.

Michael Bidwill now has a clear choice between two paths for the Cardinals future:

  • Path #1: Kyler’s injury gives him a reason to keep the status quo and blame the disaster of a season on bad injury luck. Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury return and Bidwill views next year as the prove it year that this year should have been. The Cardinals re-sign veteran free agents, take a win now player in the first round and try to go for it all next year with a recovered Kyler Murray.
  • Path #2: Kyler’s injury gives the Cardinals the clarity they were seeking as a catalyst for change. Keim and Kingsbury are dismissed and the new GM and HC are given an opportunity to start with a clean slate, a full offseason to clean up the mess from the previous 10 years and effectively a redshirt season for both the new GM and HC but also Kyler Murray in his return from a major knee injury.

The choice is clear, more now than ever before, it should be path #2.

Had Kyler stayed healthy and the offense sprung back to life and the Cardinals started winning a few games against bad opponents down the stretch, I could understand Bidwill choosing to stick with the status quo.

That option is no longer possible.

This team needs to take advantage of an unfortunate opportunity to reinvent themselves. 

A new GM and HC could evaluate the current roster without fear of stalling momentum. The salary cap situation could be weathered for an offseason so that in 2024, the Cardinals have significant buying power. The Cardinals top 10 pick this year could be joined by a top 10 pick next year and with a new GM making those selections, that might actually be a good thing!

No one wants to see an injury happen but now that it has happened, the Cardinals need to know two things:

One, Kyler is going to be fine.

Two, everything else needs to change around Kyler by the time he returns.

Otherwise it won’t be an injury that sinks the Cardinals next time, it will only be the Cardinals.

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