Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon isn’t moved by the Arizona Cardinals removing the clause requiring quarterback Kyler Murray to “complete at least four (4) hours of independent study” during game weeks. Moon believes the damage is done and will haunt Murray forever.
“The damage has been done,” the 65-year-old said. “He’ll have this riding on him every time he does something wrong in a football game. They’re going to say, ‘See, that’s the reason why that happened is because he didn’t study enough film last week,’ or whatever it might be.”
Moon has a point and is speaking from a position of authority. He was a record-setting quarterback at West Los Angeles College, but very few of the bigger four-year universities had any interest in bringing the quarterback to campus.
Black quarterbacks were few and far between in the 1970s, and many of the men in decision-making roles did not believe Blacks could play the position as well as whites. A feeling still held by some today.
Murray signed a five year $230.5 million deal with $160 million guaranteed. There was posturing by both sides before the deal was offered. But it eventually was and then the study clause got out and the Cardinals were skewered online.
If they had any reservations about giving Murray that amount money for whatever reason, they shouldn’t have put the deal on the table.
Last season Murray ranked ninth among quarterbacks in Football Outsiders DYAR stat. Ahead of Josh Allen, Joe Burrow and Russell Wilson. He was seventh in DVOA. Ahead of Matt Stafford, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr and the aforementioned Allen and Burrow.
Last offseason when Allen signed his six-year $258 million extension, there was no talk of a study clause in his contract.
Allen is an excellent quarterback heading into his fifth season, and has really elevated his play the last two seasons. But his first two seasons were nothing to write home about.
In Murray’s three seasons played thus far he’s been rookie of the year and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.
All that is to say, giving any young quarterback a big-time extension is something of a gamble. But Murray has shown he can play at a high level, and it stands to reason that he will continue to improve.
To his credit Murray seems to be taking the dig in stride.
“It’s disrespectful, and it’s almost a joke,” said Murray at an impromptu press conference last Thursday.
"I refuse to let my work ethic be in question."
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) July 28, 2022
It seems despite how much success Black quarterbacks achieve there will always be something to prove or someone to prove something to.