Since arriving to the Arizona Cardinals as a second-round pick in 2018, receiver Christian Kirk has seen steady growth in his role as a secondary option to alpha pass-catchers such as Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins.
Kirk, a hometown kid playing his high-school ball at Saguaro in Scottsdale, has spent a majority of his football life within the state boundaries of Arizona.
That now has potential to change, as Kirk enters the 2022 offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
Since the arrival of receiver Rondale Moore and the emergence of other pass-catchers such as Antoine Wesley, speculation surrounding Kirk's future have suggested Kirk will find a new home next season.
"I always want to be a part of the Valley and I always will be," Kirk said in a co-appearance with Fitzgerald at a Phoenix Open event Tuesday. "You know, hopefully, it’s another couple years with the Arizona Cardinals, but if it isn’t, you know, I’ll always be here.
"I’ll always live here and I’m so prideful to be a part of such a great state and community that I’m never leaving no matter what."
A relationship between a quarterback and receiver is important for all parties involved, and Kirk understands the grass may not be greener when finding a new team to play for.
"Anytime you get to play with a quarterback like Kyler (Murray), you want to be a part of it," said Kirk. "My thing is always whenever I’m out there: I want to be the best that I can (be) to help him along. He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and that’s the facts. And so, like I said, anytime you get an opportunity to play with a guy like that, you’re going to want to. It’ll definitely have a deciding factor (in deciding where I sign)."
All eyes have been fixated on Murray's own future, as he possibly seeks a new contract after completing his third season under center for Arizona while playing a major role in helping turn the franchise around.
Murray recently wiped his Instagram account clean of any Cardinals affiliation, even unfollowing the team account.
That drove speculation about Murray's future, with Kirk also touching on that Tuesday.
"The guy is doing what he needs to do and I have no control over that and that’s all I’ll say on that one," Kirk said. "If I’m not reacting to it, I don’t think anybody else should. But like I said, his decisions are his decisions and I’ve been off of social media but I hear the noise. So, I’m going to keep staying off of social media and just enjoy my offseason."
Although free agency is still over a month away, there's no doubting Kirk has already begun the thought process of where his future lies. He's hoping it could still be with Murray, regardless of whether that's with the Cardinals or elsewhere.