All This Talk Of Leadership Issues And Trade Demands Was Nonsense, As Cardinals Pay Kyler Murray Record Contract To Be Their Aaron Rodgers 

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

After five months of back-and-forth, finger-pointing, and even social media scrubbing of all things Cardinals, the Arizona Cardinals and their diminutive dynamo Kyler Murray agreed on a five-year, $230.1 million contract ($46.2 million per season). 

It’s a lucrative deal that makes him the second highest-paid signal-caller in the NFL by $200K per season over new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is tops, as he’s set to rake in an NFL-record $50.8 million this season.

NFL Insider Ian Rappaport broke the big news with this tweet.

“After an offseason of drama. The #AZCardinals do what they always intended: Pay Kyler Murray what he deserves. Now he gets a 5-year big money extension and will remain their QB of the future. The team and @ErikBurkhardt get it done before training camp.”

Burkhardt is Murray’s agent, who thrust himself into the limelight with some very awkward but bold moves this offseason to get his client the bag. After further review, the strategy worked like a charm, as the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner is now the league’s top-dollar quarterback. And he got it done with essentially two years left on his rookie deal. Point blank, Burkhardt did work, or did he?

Let’s delve into the timeline of the events that led to this historic day for the Cardinals.

 

 

Burkhardt Letter And Murray Scrubbing His Social Media Of All Things Cardinals

In February, Kyler Murray wiped his social media accounts of all things Cardinals, that includes pictures and videos. That’s the new age way of a player saying they are fed up, want a new deal or want out of a franchise. 

Later that month, Burkhardt sent the Cards brass a letter stating his client’s desire to be the team’s quarterback for years to come, but he also wanted that security sooner than later. The timing was odd, because it came on the heels of Murray’s abysmal playoff performance in a 34-11 throttling to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

 

 

The Cardinals seemed to be in no hurry to get a deal done, and especially with their star quarterback under team control for at least two more seasons. That was until May, when star wideout DeAndre Hopkins was suspended for six games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. That changed things. No way the Cardinals could have both Murray threatening to sit out and Hopkins out for one-third of the season.

That situation definitely played a role in Murray getting paid.

 

Murray Will Need To Show He’s Worth That Big Deal

In his three-year career Kyler Murray has passed for over 11,000 yards, 70 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions. He’s also shown that dual-threat ability that made him the No. 1 pick in 2019, by rushing for over 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns in his first three seasons. But with the roster clearly less talented than it once was and Hopkins out, it’ll be up to Murray to demonstrate the leadership and play that he’s expected to, and those expectations just increased dramatically.