NFL: Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray Sets a Record Before Ever Throwing a Pass

Kyler Murray was the talk of the NFL leading up to 2019 draft. Experts wondered if the Cardinals would take him with the No. 1 overall pick just a year after using a first-round pick on QB Josh Rosen. The Cardinals eventually took Murray with the top pick. Part of the reason for the suspense surrounding Murray was because he was previously selected by the Oakland A’s in the first round of the MLB draft and signed a contract that included a nearly $5 million signing bonus. And even though he has yet to take a snap in an NFL game, Murray is already setting records.

Record-setting autograph

NFL players can fetch big money for autographed memorabilia. The bigger the star, the more they can usually get for their signature, and Murray is already getting big bucks for his autograph.

The first piece of memorabilia he signed after being drafted was a Cardinals helmet, which the league auctioned off to raise money for Murray’s high school football program. The signed helmet sold for a record $3,450 in the auction. As a comparison, in last year’s draft auction Cowboys draftee Leighton Vander Esch saw his helmet sell for the most money, which was $2,150. The high bid for the helmet being so much higher is a sign that there is significant buzz surrounding the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner as he enters his rookie year. The fact Kyler Murray set a record with his autograph is proof of that.

Will Murray’s height hold him back?

He hasn't thrown a pass in the NFL, but Kyler Murray already has one league record.
Kyler Murray (right) set a record signing a football helmet. | Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Cardinals are going all-in on Murray. Not only did they use the top pick on him, but they traded away Rosen (much to the Miami Dolphins’ delight) after just one season in the league. While Murray had good stats in college, the NFL is a different animal, and Murray isn’t the biggest quarterback around. He stands at just 5-foot-10, which is shorter than many quarterbacks, who are typically 6-3 or taller.

That’s another Kyler Murray record — shortest quarterback taken No. 1 overall in the NFL draft. The Cardinals may be counting on Murray being the future of the quarterback position and hoping that he can follow in the footsteps of Saints QB Drew Brees, who is having a Hall of Fame-caliber career despite being 6-foot-0.

Is Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury lying about Murray?

When the Cardinals used the No. 1 overall pick on Murray and subsequently traded Rosen, most people assumed Murray was going to be the team’s starter from Week 1, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury is trying to put doubt in people’s minds — and probably lying in the process.

About a week after the draft, Kingsbury went on “The Jim Rome Show” and, when discussing who would begin the season as the starting quarterback, Kingsbury said, “we’ll see. We’re still working through all those things. We have Brett Hundley here who we’re very excited about.”

It’s unlikely that the Cardinals are truly “excited” about Hundley, who has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his NFL career. Kingsbury is probably pretending there will be a quarterback competition heading into the season to make sure Murray doesn’t get complacent or overconfident, thinking that he has the starting job locked up from the get-go.

What lies ahead for Murray this season

If Murray is indeed Arizona’s Week 1 starter, as expected, his NFL career will get underway with a home game against the Lions, which isn’t the toughest matchup possible for the rookie quarterback. He’s set to get his first primetime appearance in Week 9, when the Cardinals host the division-rival 49ers on Thursday Night Football. And if they’re both still starting by Week 15, Murray will go head-to-head against the 2018 overall No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield when the Browns come to town.