Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray reportedly wants the team to address his contract situation before the 2022 NFL Draft begins. The draft is set to start on April 28.
Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated noted that Murray’s camp doesn’t want to wait until the summer to work out a new deal, which puts some serious pressure on the team to act sooner than later.
“The Kyler Murray situation has potential to get worse before it gets better,” Breer wrote. “And it might not wind up getting better. Here’s the bottom line: Murray’s camp isn’t going to be content to wait until the summer to negotiate a new contract, which is essentially where Arizona was with its franchise quarterback when it was approached about the contract after the season. My understanding is Murray wants this resolved between now and the draft for a couple of reasons.
“1. There’d be a robust trade market if he were available now, with quarterback supply outweighed by demand. And Murray knows if a team trades for him, it’ll extend him, too. After the draft? Teams will have their quarterback plans set, so the market won’t be near what it is now. Which means if there’d be a time to push for a trade, it’d probably have to be before the end of April.
“2. A summer holdout would be tough given the strengthened rules to further punish players who stay away. And realistically it’s much harder for a quarterback than it is for a guy at any other position to draw a line in the sand once training camp starts and a team has to come together around its leaders.
“Now, I’m not necessarily saying that Murray will demand a trade. But I do think it’s on the table if things don’t go well over the next month or so. Add the leadership questions that have been raised about Murray in Arizona’s building—some see him as a sort of independent contractor, and this won’t help change that feeling—and the Cardinals definitely have an interesting few weeks ahead.”
Murray was the top overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and it didn’t take long for him to show that the Cardinals made a wise selection.
During his three NFL seasons, Murray has thrown for 11,480 yards and 70 touchdowns compared to 34 interceptions. In addition, he’s gained 1,786 yards on the ground and rushed for 20 scores. That sort of versatility is extremely valuable.
Part of Murray’s rapid development can likely be attributed to improved protection. As a rookie, he was sacked a league-worst 48 times. That number was much lower during the next two campaigns.
In the 2021 regular season, Murray appeared in 14 contests. He was great when healthy, but he missed three weeks because of an ankle injury.
After Murray’s return, the Cardinals were unable to regain the momentum that allowed them to start the season with seven straight wins. They dropped four of their last five games in the regular season before losing to the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs.
Murray has shown an ability to do big things in a Cardinals uniform. However, he could end up going elsewhere at some point if his situation with the organization doesn’t get resolved.