The Arizona Cardinals and franchise quarterback Kyler Murray are at odds after a season that began with promise ended with a thud in the first round of the playoffs.
Murray, who scrubbed any reference of the Cardinals from his Instagram account recently, is frustrated with the franchise and was embarrassed by the team’s 34-11 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and he thinks he has been made the scapegoat, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
The Cardinals have their own concerns about Murray, with sources describing the 2019 No. 1 overall pick as self-centered, immature and someone who points fingers.
Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury is said to be self-scouting where he can provide better alternatives to help Murray, according to sources. Meanwhile, select veterans on the team hope to reach out to Murray on how the 24-year-old can better handle adversity, sources said.
Former Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who played two years with Murray, wasn’t sure what to make of the quarterback’s social media move, but said Tuesday he hopes the two sides get whatever it is they both want.
“I haven’t talked to Kyler in a while but he looked good in the Pro Bowl, looked like he was having a great time, throwing touchdowns out there,” Fitzgerald said Tuesday. “I just hope everything works out the way both sides want it to work out. That’s really what it’s all about for me. I love Kyler, I love the Cardinals and I want the best for everybody.”
Despite the acrimony, the Cardinals expect things to calm down and for Murray to be their quarterback of the present and future.
Murray is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, but Arizona has until May 2 to pick up his fifth-year option. However, Murray is also eligible to negotiate a new deal now that he has completed his third season.
He’s currently scheduled to earn a base salary of $965,000 in 2022, but with a $4.5 million roster bonus that’s fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year, Murray will take home about $5.4 million.
If Murray wants a new deal before his fourth NFL season, he’ll have recent precedent to refer to. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen received a six-year contract worth $258 million in early August, before he started his fourth season.
In his three seasons in the NFL, Murray has been named Rookie of the Year and to two Pro Bowls.
Information from ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss was used in this report.
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