Recently acquired Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt said all signs kept pointing to Arizona when he was deciding where to play next season.
One of the those signs was quarterback Kyler Murray.
Watt revealed he texted Murray following his decision, saying that he believes in the young quarterback and that is a major reason why he chose Arizona.
"I’ve always said in this league you have to have a quarterback to have a chance," Watt said on Tuesday. "There’s a young, extremely talented quarterback (Murray) here who can do big things and is going from Year 2 to Year 3 and can take an even bigger jump to continue to grow and progress and be even better."
Murray developed from his Offensive Rookie of the Year 2019 season into becoming a Pro Bowler in 2020. His exciting play as a passer and runner had him in the MVP conversation halfway through the season, although his case fell off in the second half.
Still, general manager Steve Keim talked on Wednesday about how having a young franchise quarterback has made Arizona a destination for free agents.
"It got us in the game, that’s for sure," Keim said. "There’s no doubt. In one of my first conversations with (Watt's) representation, I think that was the filtering process. You obviously have to have a guy that gives you a chance, and I’ve said this all along that I think Kyler Murray is a phenomenal quarterback, a game-changer, a franchise quarterback and a player that we can win it all with. That obviously excited J.J."
Watt has never played against Murray, although he said he knows about his career.
Watt first met Murray while presenting the quarterback with the 2014 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award for his dominant senior year of high school in Texas.
Watt called it "pretty wild" to now be on his team.
Murray never lost a game as a starter in high school at 42-0, then went on to win the Big-12 championship in his lone season as a starter at Oklahoma.
"He’s been a winner at every stage of his life and that's not a coincidence," Watt said. "You're a winner because of the way that you work and because of the aura that you give off and because of the talent that you have. I think that he has all of those things."
Just goes to show what landing a highly-regarded quarterback can do for the rest of the roster and the attitude about the team.