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The Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray are reportedly on better terms now than they were earlier in the offseason as the 2022 NFL regular season approaches.
According to Lindsay Jones of The Athletic, “the ice between Murray and the Cardinals has thawed substantially since earlier this offseason” in the wake of Murray attending some voluntary workouts and mandatory minicamp.
There was some thought that Murray would hold out for a new contract and not report to the team until he got one, especially after ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported in May that Murray “won’t be too eager” to play under his current deal.
Murray has two years remaining on his contract, and Jones noted that he is set to earn only around $5.5 million this season when factoring in bonuses, making him one of the lowest-paid starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
While Murray’s compensation would rise to $29.7 million in 2023 after the Cards exercised the fifth-year option in his rookie contract, Jones theorized that the two sides could have issues again if something isn’t worked out before the start of the 2022 season.
Murray was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and he has shown flashes of brilliance during his three-year career.
Last season, the Oklahoma product went 9-5 as a starter and led the Cardinals to the playoffs, but he missed three games because of injuries. During the regular season, he completed a career-high 69.2 percent of his passes for 3,787 yards, 24 touchdowns and a career-low 10 interceptions while rushing for 423 yards and five scores.
Injuries likely played a role in the 5’10” dynamo running less last season after he rushed for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020.
Murray, who was named a Pro Bowler in each of the past two seasons, ended the 2021 season on a low note with a poor performance in the Cardinals’ NFC Wild Card Round playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.
In a 34-11 loss, Murray looked listless, as he completed just 19 of 34 passes for 137 yards with no touchdowns and two picks.
Based on that showing, Murray undoubtedly has plenty of progressing left to do in order to enter the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks, but he is the Cardinals’ best option now and in the immediate future.
He has also played his way into a more lucrative contract, especially when considering that quarterbacks who are arguably worse than him, such as Carson Wentz of the Washington Commanders, Jared Goff of the Detroit Lions, Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings and Derek Carr of the Las Vegas Raiders, all have average annual salaries of $32 million or more.
Given his skill set and the fact that he is still just 24 years of age, Murray could be looking at a new deal that would pay him in the neighborhood of $40 million per year if and when he and the Cardinals reach an agreement.