Even in the midst of free agency's whirlwind and figuring out the logistics of moving from Arizona to Minnesota, new Vikings cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. could already tell a vast difference between his new team and his ex. The culture shift and generally aesthetically pleasing surroundings were self-evident to Murphy before he stepped to the podium for his introductory presser.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, one of the few bright spots on its piss-poor 2022 defense, Patrick Peterson, won't be returning and has instead opted to play for the Steelers. Murphy shouted out Peterson as his main mentor since he entered the NFL as a second-round pick in 2019. No one knows the night-and-day difference between the Cards and Vikings, and what's applicable to Murphy's personal experience as a pro going forward than Pat Pete.
In case you didn't hear about it, the NFLPA sent out a league-wide survey and gave all 32 teams grades based on how their organization is run in several critical categories. Minnesota finished first in the entire NFL; Arizona wound up in 31st. YIKES.
Jeffro covered this report card business a couple weeks ago with key takeaways, but omitted from those was the fact that, you know, the Cardinals MAKE THEIR PLAYERS PAY FOR FOOD. Can you imagine? For more grisly details on the Cardinals' report card in particular, click here.
The most recent article I can find on NFL ownership net worths comes from Pro Football Network and went up in January.
You would think that with such a drastic disparity between the Vikings and Cardinals in organizational infrastructure that one of the owners would have considerably more money than the other. But NOPE. Arizona's Michael Bidwill is valued at $1.4 billion, while Minnesota chairman/co-owner Zygi Wilf is tied for 27th with a $1.3 billion net worth.
That's right. Bidwill is worth more than Wilf and yet lags so far behind in building a thriving — dare I say, competent — football operation. This survey made it loud and clear that the Cardinals fall short in so many key areas.
Talk about a welcome change of scenery for Byron Murphy. He's a solid corner with the versatility to play on the outside or in the slot. Given the atmosphere he put up with in the desert, it stands to reason Murphy could take a considerable step forward as he enters his presumptive prime.
Beyond the stark Cardinals/Vikings contrast at play here, perhaps an even funnier comedic incongruence is how many resources Minnesota has sunk into its impeccable workplace environment, yet there's a reticence to pay any quarterback big money other than Kirk Cousins. You'd think they'd have taken a bigger swing in that department at some point. But credit Captain Kirk for his consistency, perpetual availability and for making all that damn money.
It sounds like a modern Garden of Eden at the Vikings facility. Good for Murphy to upgrade. And I really don't mean to shit on the Cardinals franchise AGAIN but I can't imagine even the most diehard Cards fans are pleased to read that NFLPA report card. Some tough looks on there as a Bengals guy, too — except I'm confident that they'll actually take steps to rectify those shortcomings. Not so certain about whatever the fuck is going on in Arizona.