Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown gobbled up yards by the heapful in their final year together at Oklahoma in 2018, with the wideout generating 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games.
Now they’re reunited in Year 4 of their NFL careers after the Arizona Cardinals traded for the receiver during the first round of the 2022 draft.
“It’s going to be a good relationship there. The way they work out together throughout the offseason, there’s already that bond,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said this week, via Tyler Dragon of USA Today Sports. “I think once we get to training camp and Hollywood gets comfortable in our system and isn’t thinking as much, I think it’s really going to take off. But they definitely, you can tell, have a connection.”
With DeAndre Hopkins suspended for the first six games of the season, Brown’s presence is vital for the Cards. Murray struggled sans Hopkins on the field last season. And with Christian Kirk signing a big-money deal in Jacksonville, there was a massive hole in Arizona until the Brown trade.
Despite playing in a run-first offense in Baltimore, Brown still produced, generating 2,361 yards and 21 TDs over three seasons — the only WR in Ravens history to hit those marks in three seasons.
Now playing in a pass-heavy scheme in Arizona, Brown has a chance to show off his talent.
“I feel like I can definitely help the team in the role that I’m asked to do here. I helped the Ravens as well, but it’s really about what’s the philosophy of the team,” Brown said. “Just the attack mentality. We are trying to put points up, and that’s what I love.”
The biggest criticism when the trade went down wasn’t Brown’s fit in Arizona or his talent but rather a philosophical question of whether it’s a smart team-building plan to trade a first-round pick — under team control for five seasons on a favorable contract — for a receiver who is entering Year 4 and will be in line for an extension soon in an exploding market for receivers.
Instead of using that first-round pick on an unknown commodity, the Cards traded for someone they know can produce in the NFL and kept their star quarterback happy in the process.
Kingsbury said the club hopes to eventually lock Brown down for the long term.
“Yeah, we’d love to get it done,” Kingsbury said when asked about an extension. “Hollywood is a guy that we see as a long-term answer.”
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