Last week after months of back-and-forth between Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals, the team signed the diminutive dynamo to a five-year, $230.5 million extension. In essence, the 2019 No.1 overall pick becomes second-highest-paid signal-caller in the NFL.
While everything seemed to be great as Murray did a press conference with GM Steve Keim earlier this week, reports surfaced that Murray had a solo film study clause or “independent study” in the deal.
Murray who’s been quiet about the matter since it was released, finally spoke on it on Thursday. And let’s just say the former Heisman Trophy winner let it be known that he’s never not studied film. Here’s what he said via NFL.com.
“To think that I can accomplish everything that I have accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game and not have the passion and not take this seriously is disrespectful, and it’s almost a joke. To me, I’m flattered. I want to say I’m flattered that you all think at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game, and not take it seriously.”
“It’s disrespectful, I feel like, to my peers, to all the great athletes and great players that are in this league. This game is too hard. To play the position that I play in this league, it’s too hard.
“I’ve put an incomprehensible amount of time, blood, sweat, tears, and work into what I do, whether it’s football or baseball. People can’t comprehend the amount of time that it takes to do two sports at a high level in college. Let alone be the first person to ever do it at my size, like I said, it’s funny, but to those of you out there that believe I would be standing here today in front of y’all without having a work ethic and without preparing, I’m honored that you think that. But it doesn’t exist. It’s not possible, so that’s all I have on that.”
Kyler Murray with the surprise appearance with the media.
It’s “disrespectful … almost a joke” that people could think he could’ve accomplished what he has without studying and preparing for the game.
“This game is too hard” to do otherwise.
— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) July 28, 2022
Murray is speaking truth. The NFL is too hard to just show up and expect good results. Playing the quarterback position is arguably the single hardest position in all of sports. That’s why so many fail.
Murray And Cardinals Overcame Impasse To Reach Historic Deal
Ever since the season ended, the Cardinals and Murray seemed to be at odds. Murray surprisingly wanted a new deal with two years left on his rookie deal. That’s not usual protocol as most star QBs receive their new deal during or after their fourth year. Murray upped the ante and put the pressure on Cardinals brass to get a deal done.
He even wiped his social media accounts of all things Cardinals at one point to show he meant business. Then his agent sent the team a detailed letter about his client’s demands. While it looked as if if wouldn’t work at first, the two sides seemed to get closer on a deal once star receiver DeAndre Hopkins was suspended the first six games for violating the league’s performance enhancing drugs policy.
That seemed to move the meter on Murray’s deal, as the team could ill afford to not have both Murray and Hopkins. So, in essence, Murray’s so-called threat to not play without a new deal worked.
Kyler Murray does 4 hours of game studying on his own, anyway. And similar to the team wanting him around for the offseason as the face of the franchise, AZ wanted a commitment in writing while going to a certain place money-wise. Thus, the clause 👇👇👇 https://t.co/2WjSXBCqtv
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 25, 2022
Murray Has A Lot To Prove: Cards Need Him At His Best
The Cardinals have had the propensity of starting strong under head coach Kliff Kingsbury and then fading down the stretch. That could be the total opposite with Hopkins out for the first six weeks. But that’s also why they paid Murray, who’s been a winner his entire career, going 42-0 at Allen High School in Texas. He then turned down millions offered by the Oakland Athletics to return to college at Oklahoma, and he won the Heisman, defying incredible odds. He was the first pick of the NFL draft and then proved he was elite by winning NFL Rookie of the Year.
Kyler Murray will look to end a lengthy drought for the Cardinals franchise.
The Cardinals haven’t won a championship since 1947, the longest active championship drought in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL. pic.twitter.com/narO3mIVDu
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 21, 2022
He led the Cardinals to the playoffs last season but played horribly against the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams. The Cardinals have Super Bowl aspirations, and in order to get there Murray will have to play up to that contract.
Can he? The answer to that question remains to be seen.