Though he’s no longer around Sean McVay, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell has one thing in common with his former Los Angeles Rams coaching boss: O’Connell is relying on a mid-30s signal-caller as his quarterback option in Kirk Cousins while the Rams have Matthew Stafford.
O’Connell has shown so much trust in Cousins that the Vikings chose to avoid taking a passer as their first round selection. They instead waited until the fifth round to take Jaren Hall of BYU to fill space in the QB room. But is Hall really the QB of the future in Minnesota? There’s one trade proposal made by Heavy’s Trevor Squire on Thursday, May 4 that points to the Ex-Rams assistant raiding one former NFC West rival of his to nab a potential successor to the four-time Pro Bowler Cousins.
Proposal Gives O’Connell $230 million Talent
Squire writes Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals as a proposed late trade option for O’Connell and the Vikes. The same Murray who signed a blockbuster five-year, $230,500,000 extension in October 2022.
While Squire admits this idea comes off as a long shot, there are signs pointing to Murray facing some tensions in the desert which could signify needing a change of scenery.
For starters, the Cardinals have witnessed changes in both the front office and head coaching room by watching general manager Steve Keim resign then firing Kliff Kingsbury as head coach. Before the personnel renovations, there was the report from ESPN NFL insiders Jeremy Fowler and Josh Weinfuss detailing a rift surfacing between Kingsbury and the former No. 1 overall pick in 2019 Murray. And the tensions began to elevate following Murray’s ACL tear on December 12.
“Murray was lost for the season when he tore his ACL in his right knee three plays into a Monday night loss to the New England Patriots on Dec. 12. That event occurred after Murray and his head coach had grown increasingly distant throughout Arizona’s disappointing 4-10 season, according to multiple Cardinals sources,” the ESPN report shared. Additionally, Murray wanted more freedom at the line of scrimmage which further led to the tensions between he and Kingsbury.
Proposed Deal Would Impact Rams vs. Cards Rivalry
Now, Murray is facing a nebulous future in Glendale, Arizona as the team has pivoted to a defensive identity by luring in former Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as head coach. New GM Monti Ossenfort has also been around defensive minds himself — notably Bill Belichick while with the New England Patriots and former NFL linebacker Mike Vrabel during his time with the Tennessee Titans.
While this is merely a proposal, it’s one that if a trade gets complete will surely impact the Rams versus Cardinals rivalry.
Murray has combined for eight touchdowns (seven throwing) and has produced three 300-yard outings against the Rams. However, the Rams have had the former Oklahoma Sooner’s number — with a 7-1 record against Murray including the 34-11 playoff drubbing during the Rams’ march to Super Bowl 56.
It would also mean a serious rebuild going on in year one for the Gannon/Ossenfort regime should they move Murray — which could signal the Cardinals making way for potential top quarterback selection Caleb Williams out of USC in the 2024 draft.
Murray’s name has floated around the NFL stratosphere as a potential trade candidate during this offseason amid the personnel changes involving one of the Rams’ division rivals. Even though Murray remains in the desert post March and the ’23 draft, there’s still the midseason trade deadline of November 2023 to be mindful of.
And, with Cousins getting older, the Ex-Rams assistant O’Connell could still find himself in a situation where he has a strong contingency plan in place if his QB1 goes down and Hall isn’t ready. Murray would bring more youth and an explosive mobile dimension if brought into O’Connell’s Rams-like attack.