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Cardinals’ official website lists quarterback as a ‘low’ priority heading into 2019 NFL Draft

Operating in 2019 from an NFL content perspective involves navigating some tricky hoops, thanks to individual NFL teams — and the league itself, of course — having their own websites with which they can distribute content. I mention this because the Arizona Cardinals website ran an article about the team’s draft needs and, despite Arizona being heavily rumored as a landing spot for Kyler Murray (check his full NFL Draft profile here) with the No. 1 overall pick, listed quarterback as a “low” priority.

Kyle Odegard broke down the quarterback draft situation on AZCardinals.com and noted that given what has happened with the Cardinals and the quarterback situation over the last year or so, the position is not at the top of the shopping list for the draft:

Draft primer: Quarterback

Players under contract: Josh Rosen, Brett Hundley, Charles Kanoff.

Need: Low

The Cardinals’ situation: Rosen was chosen with the No. 10 overall pick last year and is under contract for the next three seasons at a rate far below veteran starting quarterbacks. Rosen’s rookie season was a challenging one, but between subpar play around him and the difficulties of the position, there is belief he will take a step forward in 2019. Hundley was signed this offseason to be the backup, while Kanoff, a former undrafted free agent, is angling to make the team.

Here’s the thing: he’s not wrong! The Cardinals just spent a very high pick on Rosen and he’s under team control for another four years. He flashed at times, when he wasn’t under attack because he was playing behind the worst offensive line in football as part of a largely uninspiring offensive scheme. It’s unfair to evaluate Rosen and his long-term prospects based on what happened in the 2018 season.

That may not matter, though, because the Cardinals have been inextricably linked to Murray throughout this entire draft process, thanks to video of new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury from back in October surfacing in which Kingsbury, then the coach of Texas Tech, saying he would absolutely take Murray with the top overall pick if he was holding it. (Nevermind that Kingsbury probably didn’t expect to be fired by his alma mater only to land a gig coaching an NFL team with the top overall pick several months in the future when he made that remark.)

Kingsbury has continued to support Rosen throughout this whole process, Rosen’s drawn the support of Cardinals president Michael Bidwell and Rosen showed up to offseason workouts — and was the first guy through the door, take that, Charley Casserly! — as if he’s going to be the Cards quarterback moving forward.

And yet all this Murray stuff continues to linger. Even the Cards website notes it: “there is one prospect that can’t escape getting linked to the Cardinals with the No. 1 overall pick: Kyler Murray,” Odegard writes.

This is what’s tough about 2019. Odegard does a great job remaining objective and breaking down Arizona’s situation — he notes “the Cardinals’ brass has remained coy about its plan for the top pick” — from a neutral perspective, but the reality is the content is being put on a team website. 

And whatever happens on that website is ultimately under the scrutiny of people from the highest level of the team’s operations. Which is why it’s fascinating to see the website read that quarterback is a low priority. 

We’re either living through the greatest or worst smokescreen of all time, and there’s absolutely no way to discern which one it really is.

Wink of the CBS Eye to Pro Football Talk for spotting the story

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