As the drama with quarterback Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals continues to play out through the offseason, two former Cards offered some harsh critiques of their former franchise and predicted a departure for the franchise quarterback.
"No. I've been around K1. He's a competitor," Peterson said, via USA Today. "And I feel like, no disrespect to the Arizona Cardinals, I feel like they don't put the team in a position to be successful year after year after year. They want to sit and wait on draft picks instead of being aggressive in free agency and going and getting guys that can help you get better right now versus waiting on the future. And Kyler Murray's not gonna sit around and wait for that."
Edmonds concurred with Peterson's prognostication and likewise pointed to an unfulfilled desire to win.
"Man, the way things are, and how people just move and get traded, I don't think so," Edmonds answered when asked if Murray would remain with the franchise throughout his career. "It's a new way, bro. It's a new era in the NFL.
"He wants to win. People are gonna say a lot of things about K1, but he wants to win more than anything, I promise you that. And so, if the winning ain't happening, I don't know."
Edmonds put together four solid seasons with Arizona before departing for the Dolphins this offseason, while Peterson built a Hall of Fame resume with the Cardinals over 10 years. Peterson moved on to Minnesota in 2021 and announced on March 30 he was re-signing with the Vikings on the same podcast that he and Edmonds dissected their former club.
Amid Edmonds' and Petersons' offseason signings, Murray has clamored for an extension in somewhat unconventional fashion. Following his appearance in the Pro Bowl, Murray scrubbed his Instagram from any Cardinals mentions. Then came reports that the Cardinals were looking for Murray to take a step forward with his leadership and maturity. Not long after, it was reported Murray and the Cards were all good, on the same page and taking steps forward. However, just four days later, Murray's agent released an odyssey of a statement detailing their desire for an extension. On April 14, the latest and biggest salvo was fired with a report that Murray was not expected to play for the Cardinals without a new deal.
Though it's difficult to remember such a dramatic situation of discourse playing out in the desert, Peterson and Edmonds believe this is just the latest chapter for a franchise that's struggled to build a winning culture. In particular, they sighted Arizona's stumbles down the stretch the last two seasons.
In 2020, Arizona was 5-2 at one point and was 8-6 before losing its last two games to finish out of the playoffs. In 2021, the Cardinals were the last undefeated team in the NFL at 7-0, but went on to lose four of their final five regular-season games. They backed into the playoffs and were promptly dispatched by the Los Angeles Rams in a 23-point wild-card loss.
"I just know, especially knowing how the last two years had ended, meaning 2021 and 2020, and knowing the type of competitor that K1 is, and the type of winner that he wants to be," Edmonds said. "I knew there was gonna be, at some point, some things happening. Especially just because, you see the power that quarterbacks have now. … They hold the weight, man, and you gotta pay 'em. I feel like K1 obviously got to do what he's got to do to make sure he gets paid and take care of himself and take care of his family.
"Just in terms of that drama, you definitely saw it. The way things ended the last two years. It wasn't up to our standards at all and you could see the frustrations during it boil over."
While Murray's dismay has commanded the news cycle, Peterson cited the departure of a defensive standout as evidence to the Cardinals' inability to build and maintain a winning product.
"I think the thing that Arizona does a bad job of, dropping the ball is, keeping key guys, keeping core guys there that can help you continue to build," Peterson said. "Like a Chandler Jones for example. If you are looking to win, if you are looking to compete for a Super Bowl championship, there's no way in the world Chandler Jones should be walking away. I don't care how you cut it. I've seen it time and time again with Calais Campbell … the list goes on. They have a tough problem just keeping guys there that mean something to the team."
Campbell signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017 after four years with the Cardinals and a pair of Pro Bowl selections. Jones, of course, departed this offseason, signing with the Las Vegas Raiders after racking up 71.5 sacks in six seasons with the Cardinals.
The Murray drama continues to play out and two of his former teammates have tossed a bit of gasoline on the fire of discourse.