49ers

NFL draft rumors: Cardinals will not take Kyler Murray with No. 1 pick

NFL draft rumors: Cardinals will not take Kyler Murray with No. 1 pick

Ever since the Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury as their head coach, rumors began to swirl about them drafting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. 

As the draft has drawn closer, the speculation that Arizona will draft Murray and trade Josh Rosen has turned into an assumed likelihood.

But with the draft just five days away, it now appears the Cardinals might look to go in a different direction at No. 1, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Pete Prisco. 

"Initially, the ownership pushed for Kyler Murray," Prisco recently said on CBS Sports HQ. "That much I know -- I was told that.

"The reason they did is they are having a hard time selling tickets. Well, they put it out there. Arizona was lukewarm to it. All of a sudden, they are pulling back, and from what I've been told, they are going to go in a different direction. They are not going to draft Kyler Murray."

How's that for a pre-draft bombshell?

So, let's unpack this a bit.

First of all, it's entirely possible the Cardinals are putting this out there because they want to see what offers they can get to move out of the No. 1 spot, should a team really want Murray or perhaps Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa. And if they don't receive an offer that blows them away, they'll stay in that slot and draft Murray anyways. 

Rosen also complicates things for the Cardinals. Drafted with the No. 10 overall pick last year, Rosen struggled in his rookie campaign through little fault of his own. Saddled with mediocre offensive weapons and a porous offensive line, the UCLA product was rudely welcomed to the NFL. If the Cardinals were to draft Murray, they would need to find a taker for Rosen, and they're reportedly looking for a team willing to pay a steep price for him in order to save face. It appears Arizona is having trouble finding such a suitor.

If the Cardinals do pass on Murray for Bosa, the 49ers will be put in a little bit of a bind. For weeks, it's been looking like the 49ers will take Bosa, the draft's top prospect, when he falls into their lap, and Arizona passing on Murray could throw a huge wrench into their draft plans.

If Bosa is unavailable at No. 2, San Francisco could look to move back in the draft, collect assets and still take an edge rusher with high upside in the middle part of the first round. 

Meanwhile, the Raiders sit at No. 4, and it appears only Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock and a few trusted advisors know the Silver and Black's plan.

Rumors leaked earlier this week that the Raiders could be planning a "big move" to trade up and take Murray or Bosa, but if the Cardinals don't draft Murray, the electric quarterback could fall right into Oakland's hands at No. 4. Of course, if Quinnen Williams also is on the board, the Raiders' brass will have a difficult choice to make.

[RELATED: Should Raiders try to move up and draft Kyler Murray?]

In five days time, we'll know if Kingsbury's Air Raid offense will be manned by Rosen or the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. What the Cardinals choose to do will have wide-spread consequences on the entire first round of the draft.

Buckle up.

Aaron Rodgers explains how growing up 49ers fan shaped him as quarterback

Aaron Rodgers explains how growing up 49ers fan shaped him as quarterback

Aaron Rodgers' love for the Bay Area and Northern California runs deep.

The Packers quarterback grew up in Chico, starred at Cal and many thought he would be drafted No. 1 overall by the 49ers before they passed on him to draft Alex Smith in the 2005 NFL Draft. Rodgers has crafted a Hall of Fame career in Green Bay, but spending his youth attached to the 49ers had a big impact on his life and career path.

"That was so important for me as far as setting dreams and goals was being able to watch the late 80s and early 90s 49ers teams, which were obviously fantastic," Rodgers told NBC's Mike Tirico ahead of the Packers-49ers Week 12 "Sunday Night Football" clash. "I remember sitting down, we'd have a big Super Bowl party, and watching [Joe Montana] and The Drive. Then thinking, even at five, six years old, 'That's what I want to do. I want to go out and be like that.'"

Rodgers largely has fulfilled his youthful dreams, becoming one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game while donning the green and yellow of Green Bay. Despite his greatness, Rodgers only has one Super Bowl ring to show for his legendary career, but he has the Packers (8-2) in position to make a charge at the Lombardi Trophy this season.

The Packers' biggest test to date will come Sunday night when they visit Levi's Stadium to face the team Rodgers grew up loving.

The 49ers (9-1) have been one of the most impressive teams in the NFL this season. A vaunted defense led by a fearsome defensive line helped the 49ers get out to an 8-0 start, but questions remained about whether or not quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could lead the team to victory when asked to do so. Garoppolo, without tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, was unable to do so in the 49ers' Week 10 overtime loss to the Seahawks, but he rebounded to throw four touchdowns in San Francisco's come-from-behind win over the Cardinals in Week 11.

[RELATED: Why beating 49ers in Levi's is so important to Rodgers]

The 49ers likely will need even more from Jimmy G on Sunday night to knock off the Packers and maintain a hold on the top seed in the NFC. 

49ers' Richard Sherman named NFLPA's Community MVP for charitable deeds

49ers' Richard Sherman named NFLPA's Community MVP for charitable deeds

Richard Sherman was named the NFL Players Association’s Community MVP on Friday just days after he helped a youth football team from Compton raise enough money to participate in a national tournament in Florida.

Sherman donated $5,000, and the attention he brought to the team enabled the group to raise twice as much as its $15,000 goal. He also was recognized for restocking shelves at three food banks in Washington.

The weekly Community MVP winners will also become eligible for the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award, which is the highest honor that the NFLPA awards to a player. The NFLPA makes a $10,000 donation to the foundation or charity of choice of all players who win the weekly award.

[RELATED: Sherman's unconventional path led him from streets to NFL]

Sherman said the reason he chose to support the youth football team was because of a requirement that each player on the six-and-under squad had to achieve good grades in order to be on the team.

“I think the thing about the youth football team that jumped out was the 3.1 GPA that they needed to be on the team,” said Sherman, who finished second in his class at Dominguez High School in Compton. “I think when any organization, especially sports, focuses on academics first, I can get behind that. I think academics will take you further than sports will ever take you, and I think at the end of the day, there’s no limit to the amount of information that you can attain as a person and how smart you can get and how much intelligence you can achieve.

“Your athletic ability can peak. You can hit a ceiling. How fast, how strong, how big, you know, how much you are able to do in a career. But in terms of attaining information and intelligence in the world of academia, I don’t think there’s a limit. I think encouraging those kids to get their education and focus on that early is something that I respect a ton.”