Quarterback Kyler Murray signed a blockbuster extension with the Cardinals last offseason that quickly became the talk of the league upon the discovery of a “homework clause” in the deal. The controversial segment of the contract was later removed by the team, but according to one of Murray’s teammates, it may have been beneficial to keep in place.
An anonymous Cardinals veteran told Michael Silver of Bally Sports last Sunday that after the franchise gave Murray the new deal, “it was like they created a monster.” The veteran said that after Murray cashed in, he was less inclined to study Arizona’s gameplan and meet the expectations that the team had for him after making him the franchise quarterback.
The deal, which will pay Murray $230.5 million over five years beginning in 2024, was already thrust into the spotlight over the summer when reporters discovered that it included an addendum that required the 25-year-old quarterback to spend at least four hours per week conducting “independent study.” Amid widespread backlash around the league, the Cardinals opted to remove the clause, citing their complete confidence in Murray’s abilities and work ethic.
“After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract,” the team said in a statement. “It was clearly perceived in ways that were never intended. Our confidence in Kyler Murray is as high as it’s ever been and nothing demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”
Though the contract was smoothed over before the season began, the 2022 campaign for the Cardinals was anything but smooth. Arizona finished the year 4–13, losing its last seven games. Murray also suffered a torn ACL in mid-December that will likely leave him unable to start the ’23 season following surgery.
Uncertainty in Arizona extends well past the quarterback position following the dreadful campaign. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwell fired coach Kliff Kingsbury after four seasons at the helm and longtime general manager Steve Keim stepped down due to health reasons.
Bidwell said in a press conference earlier this week that Murray would have input on the franchise’s search for a new head coach. Murray is under contract with the Cardinals through the 2028 season.