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Kyler Murray, MVP Candidate And Prepping For Year Two

Kyler Murray, at least here in May, is in the MVP conversation. That's what the odds are from Caesars Sportsbook, which lists Murray at 16-1 to win NFL MVP in 2020, behind Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson -- and tied with the same odds as Tom Brady.

Perhaps MVP talk is a bit premature, but the expectations for Murray going into Year Two are going to be high. That was always going to be the case, and even with the Cardinals in virtual offseason mode, coach Kliff Kingsbury isn't backing off expectations.

"When you watch the installs with him and you watch the plays from last year, you notice how far he's come," Kingsbury said. "There's definitely a different confidence, a different level of command with the offense, and he feels it. Even though we haven't been able to get on the grass he definitely feels a lot more comfortable heading into Year Two, so I'm excited to get my hands on him whenever I can."

Kingsbury said he talks to Murray at least once a week one-on-one. Once Murray returns, Kingsbury said he's looking to see the normal progression of Murray not just as quarterback but as leader -- being around teammates, exhibiting a work ethic and study habits that leave an impression in the locker room.

Getting some chemistry, especially with new wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, also is on the to-do list. Kingsbury was asked if Murray planned to get together with his pass catchers at some point even as players can't return to team facilities.

"We're all kind of on the wait-and-see plan right now, but we're kind of champing at the bit to get together and start working together," Kingsbury said. "Unfortunately it can't be with us for the time being. I'm not sure about the time table. I know he's talked about getting all those guys together and they'll figure it out down the road."

QB Kyler Murray (right) talks with WR Christian Kirk (center) and WR Trent Sherfield during an OTA in 2019.
QB Kyler Murray (right) talks with WR Christian Kirk (center) and WR Trent Sherfield during an OTA in 2019.