During the first two months of the NFL season, it looked like Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals would have the inside track to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. We know that didn’t work out, and the second half of the year was pretty much a disaster for the Cardinals, based on how strong they started out the gate in September. It is reported that the Cardinals want to see more leadership from Murray, which clearly raises a question of maturity. Murray has even gone so far as to remove any mention of the cardinals from his social media.
Other reports coming out of the cardinal camp are not too encouraging, one of both, if you are a fan of the team. According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, Murray pretty much pulled himself out of the playoff loss to the Rams towards the end of the game.
“The Playoff Game” [in Los Angeles] there was one minute to go, the game was decided, backup Colt McCoy encouraged Murray to finish the game with his teammates.” Garafolo said:† “A deranged Murray said no, that’s it, I’m done.”
Murray was also described as “selfish, immature and (a) finger pointer.” Obviously the team isn’t too happy with their franchise QB right now. But Arizona’s year-end collapse cannot be attributed solely to Murray. What about head coach Kliff Kingsbur? His team faded in the second half of the season two years in a row† Shouldn’t there be more warmth for him for the team that has been unprepared for the trajectory in successive seasons?
Oh, but Kingsbury isn’t the one lining up for a big payday in the next two years. Murray has just completed the third year of his rookie contract. This essentially means he still has two years left on his rookie deal. Next season, Murray’s base salary will be $965,000, after which the team will have the choice of taking his option before 2023 and letting him play it out before becoming an unrestricted free agent after the 2023 campaign. Or the Cardinals could sign Murray to a long-term deal before Murray even comes close to being a free agency.
Come on people, let’s not be naive; this is all about money and the fact that Murray will likely be lining up for a $200 million payday. Looks like the Cardinals are getting cold feet over whether Murray should be their man moving forward. If Kyler’s maturity level is a question, I understand.
Scrubbing your social media of all things team is very Gen Z, so I can understand how that feels to older adults within the Cardinals organization. But I don’t think it really means much of anything. He’s mad, but he’ll get over it. Arizona released a statement following the messages:
“Nothing has changed in our opinion and high regard for Kyler Murray,” it read. “We as a team and Kyler individually have improved every year he has been in the competition. We are excited to continue that improvement into 2022 and are delighted to have Kyler Murray as the quarterback leading us.”
So the team’s opinion of Murray hasn’t changed, yet reports are leaking about his leadership, maturity and finger-pointing. Someone wanted this out in the open. And based on the reports, it sounds like someone’s opinion within the franchise has indeed changed about Murray. Otherwise, these reports would not be made public.
We could see a new situation arise in Baker Mayfield or Dak Prescott. Prescott eventually got his big money deal, while Mayfield is still in evidence mode for the Browns. If Murray isn’t already reconsidering his decision to take football over baseball, he probably will soon.