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Kyler Murray to the Commanders is an NFL Draft trade that makes too much sense for everyone


Kyler Murray to the Commanders is an NFL Draft trade that makes too much sense for everyone

It feels like we’re locked in a holding pattern ahead of the NFL Draft, waiting for that one big shoe to drop. While it’s safe to say at this point that quarterbacks will go with the first three picks — we’ve yet to really discuss whether a veteran player trade could shake up the top of the first round.

When you step back and look at both the order, as well as the circumstances of each team there’s a glaringly obvious deal waiting to be done: Kyler Murray to the Washington Commanders. It makes so much sense for both teams that it’s remarkable nobody has really mentioned it up to this point — and that means it’s something we could definitely see happen.

The composition of the trade is something that could be finessed, but let’s just assume for a second that this was the offer on the table.

It’s safe to say that Arizona’s relationship with Kyler Murray has been, let’s say, lukewarm at best over the last two years. There hasn’t been a great deal of mutual trust, and despite putting forward a unified front — it’s never really felt like Murray is the face of the franchise in the eyes of the Cardinals, or vice-versa.

The truth is: Murray is a really good quarterback in the right system. He was hand-picked because of his ability to thrive in a system that is no longer in place. In its stead he’s been ... fine. Part of that is because of the lack of weapons, but Murray also just don’t look that comfortable changing systems as Arizona has morphed under Jonathan Gannon into more of a defensive, hard-nosed team (or at least, that’s what they aspire to be).

Murray is making high-tier franchise QB money in an environment that isn’t right for him on both sides. There is absolutely every opportunity for him to return to being a Top 10 QB in the NFL with a change of scenery, and that gives him the opportunity.

Meanwhile for Arizona, the plan here would be simple: Rebuild. Truly rebuild. Take Drake Maye with the No. 2 overall pick, draft Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4 — and use the tremendous cap money saved in 2025 and beyond to add to the defense.

It’s abundantly clear what Washington want out of the 2024 Draft: Caleb Williams — but that simply isn’t attainable. Much of the speculation about why the Commanders would take Jayden Daniels over Drake Maye is predicated on his fit in the Kliff Kingsbury offense, which is still a gamble. Ultimately you’re still hoping a rookie QB can develop into what you hope.

This team took a significant risk hiring Kingsbury. There’s no guarantee any rookie QB from the 2024 class could thrive in his system — but Murray has proved the concept already. This team doesn’t need to whiff on another high pick.

Ownership is desperate to turn the page quickly. They want to assert a new era in Washington and create buzz. Landing a sure-fire quarterback in Murray, who has already shown an ability to thrive in Kingsbury’s offense is the catalyst for a quick turnaround.

It’s easy to forget that Daniels is an older rookie, who will turn 24 during the regular season. Meanwhile Murray is just three years older. It’s not like you’re giving up the No. 2 pick for a veteran rental — you’re getting a legitimate franchise QB who could easily play for another 10 years.

When you pair Murray with the host of weapons Washington has in Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Austin Ekeler, and now Zach Ertz (who played with Murray in Arizona) you have a nucleus that could at least pull itself out of cellar in the NFC East — which is enough immediately to make fans happy.

Instead of taking a QB at No. 2 and then sitting until No. 36 the Commanders would lock up their QB spot, and get the No. 27 pick to either add much-needed pass rushing help, or strengthen their OL. That spot is good to land a sliding player at either position, and from there the Commanders have two seconds to keep doing work.

It should, but signs still point to the Cardinals wanting to build around Murray. It’s a totally fine plan, and you could absolutely make the argument that a healthy Kyler Murray is better than anyone in this draft class — but Arizona never committed to a rebuild in a way that can actually help the franchise turn the page.

It would be in the best interests of everyone involved to make a deal like this happen. These deals rarely come to fruition though.

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29 of May 2024