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A Hollywood-K1 Reunion: Marquise Brown, Kyler Murray Dreamed Of Being NFL Teammates

Wide receiver arrived in trade from Ravens on first night of draft

Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown talk during Oklahoma's pro day back in 2019.
Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown talk during Oklahoma's pro day back in 2019.

The NFL has become a place where college quarterbacks have found a way to get paired up with their college receivers.

The Bengals did it with Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase, and the Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa and Jaylen Waddle. The Raiders have done it with Derek Carr and Devante Adams. And now the Cardinals have done it with Kyler Murray and Marquise Brown.

It's a dream the two of them have had since they played together at Oklahoma.

"In college you go through more with your quarterback than in the NFL," Brown said. "Me and Kyler, we got in together, we were on the 'B' squad against the starting defense (at Oklahoma) to all the way to both of us playing."

Realistically, it was a conversation both had in 2019, when Murray went first to the Cardinals and a foot injury meant Brown was going to slide in the draft. Then the Ravens picked Brown instead, where Brown was successful teaming with quarterback Lamar Jackson but slowly became more disillusioned with the offensive system and his place in it.

Brown asked for a trade, and he and his close friend Murray again in February began talking about the chances again – although until the last week, Brown admitted he wasn't optimistic.

"For the longest, I didn't think it was possible," he said.

Brown has been working out with Murray in the Dallas area, but Brown was sworn to secrecy even as Murray badgered him constantly about what might happen and whether the Cardinals might be involved.

Wide receiver Marquise Brown meets the media for the first time as a member of the Cardinals.
Wide receiver Marquise Brown meets the media for the first time as a member of the Cardinals.

He could've let Murray know, but "I kind of wanted it to be a surprise," Brown acknowledged.

"He couldn't tell Kyler" Cardinals GM Steve Keim said. "He's probably frustrated he had to hold that information in, but I'm sure those two have had some laughs now."

Indeed, Murray tweeted out how the two could now run it back, although Brown said they haven't had any serious conversations yet with Murray knowing Brown was in the middle of his whirlwind Arizona tour.

Brown had been in Las Vegas for an appearance when Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill picked him up Thursday afternoon.

Brown, who after the Cardinals picked up his fifth-year option is now under contract through 2023, insisted he isn't thinking about a new deal right now (he is scheduled to make $2.1 million this season) – "It's never really about the money right now," he said.

He also said he had to check with Murray after Murray's own contract drama played out this offseason after the two had talked about reuniting in Arizona.

"I was like, 'What's going on,' " Brown said with a smile. "He loves it here and I know they love him, so they'll figure it out."

Brown is coming off his best season as a pro, with 91 catches and 1,008 yards. His nickname is "Hollywood," not because of his flash but because it is his hometown in Florida. He made it clear he loves the idea of playing with DeAndre Hopkins, a player who can draw the attention of a defense and give Brown more one-on-one looks.

Brown also insisted the number of targets isn't as important as the type of targets, and for a player who already has double-digit scores of at least 20 yards in his three-year career, the Cardinals look forward to that type of impact.

Considering he's three years in, Brown was also enthusiastic about picking the brains of veterans Hopkins and A.J. Green to learn more about his craft.

"I think he's just scratching the surface," coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

The fact he'll get to do it with Murray is what both wanted.

Brown joked about how he manifested the trade by working out with Murray, and grinned when it was suggested that Murray will take credit for the deal. "He definitely was like, 'I did this,' " Brown said. "Definitely."

However it happened, K1 and Hollywood are back together, and the two want to recreate the magic they had at Oklahoma as members of the Cardinals.

"I always wanted it to be here," Brown said.