Among all of the big names on the quarterback market this offseason, one of the more interesting names is Kyler Murray. The Arizona Cardinals signal-caller wiped his social media clean of everything Cardinals-related and has been making headlines for reportedly wanting a contract extension.
Will Murray’s desire for an extension come to fruition? Probably not. Moreover, the Cardinals should immediately shut down Murray’s request and have him enter his fourth NFL season with a little bit of extra motivation.
Kyler Murray and his agent are playing hardball with the Cardinals
Murray and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, are doing what they can to drum up some interest and force the Cardinals’ hand. This wasn’t the first time that Burkhardt sent a message, either.
On the final day of February, Burkhardt sent a lengthy, 12,000-word message regarding the ongoing conversations with his client. In it, he insisted that Murray wants to stay in the desert and help the Cardinals win a Super Bowl.
Murray and his agent can play hardball all they want. It might work, for all we know, but so far, the Cardinals haven’t made it known one bit. Perhaps even more surprising is that Arizona received a proposal, but the counter is nowhere to be found.
There is no doubt Murray is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL, but there are some reasons why Arizona should think twice before making him one of the highest-paid players in the league.
There are some reasons not to throw a ton of cash at Kyler Murray just yet
Is Murray deserving of a big-money extension?
At times, the former No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma has been a star. On the other hand, he has been far from average as well.
It has been a mixed bag, and deep-diving into Murray’s numbers should have Arizona playing hardball even more and hoping for an impressive fourth NFL campaign from its QB.
Warren Sharp brings up excellent points all across.
Since coming into the league, Murray has started 46 regular-season games in three seasons and didn’t miss a start until the 2021 season. He has thrown 70 touchdowns and just 34 interceptions in those starts and added 20 rushing scores.
But success is measured in the playoffs, and Murray hasn’t had any since entering the NFL. He has made just one playoff start, which came against the Los Angeles Rams this past season.
Murray went just 19-34 for 137 yards with zero scores and a pair of interceptions in an ugly loss for Arizona. Moreover, the Cardinals have collapsed two seasons in a row during the second half of the season.
Kliff Kingsbury could be blamed for those struggles, but Murray hasn’t helped his case whatsoever. Sure, the two Pro Bowl appearances and the AP Rookie of the Year award are impressive, but none of that matters if he can’t bring Arizona to the next level.
Things might get trickier in Arizona if the two sides can’t work out an agreement, and there is a chance that the star QB doesn’t suit up until he gets what he wants.
Will the Cardinals give the young QB what he wants?
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported on Murray’s situation after the long message from his agent. As it stands, he is set to make $5.5 million in the fourth year of his rookie deal, so there is an apparent reason for him to ask for a raise.
On the other hand, Arizona doesn’t need to rush into giving him a massive contract — especially if they are even the tiniest bit reserved about his future with the franchise.
Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield are a couple of QBs in similar situations, although for very different reasons. Josh Allen broke the bank with a monster deal last offseason, and the Buffalo Bills QB has looked very worth that amount of cash.
We can add Murray to this list, although who knows what Arizona decides to do. If he holds out in hopes of a new deal, then the Cardinals are in trouble.
On the other hand, Arizona appears to want to see more from their young QB, and rightfully so. Zero playoff wins is a concern, second-half issues are another concern, and his attitude this offseason should have them thinking twice about backing up the Brinks truck into his driveway. There is even an argument to be made that trading Murray makes sense.
The ball is in the Cardinals’ court, and although playing 2022 without Murray would be difficult, they have every right to be a bit hesitant about making him one of the wealthiest players in the NFL.
Stats Courtesy of Pro Football Reference