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Cardinals’ Kyler Murray aims for elite real life season, 80s in Madden

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) eludes Cleveland Browns defensive back Sheldrick Redwine (29) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Kyler Murray doesn’t like spouting out individual goals about his football self. But as far as Madden NFL 21 ratings go, he’d like a tad more respect.

There’s just something about the energy brought by ESPN’s First Take duo of Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman that got the Arizona Cardinals quarterback to nibble on questions about his Madden ratings and personal expectations for his second NFL season.

“I think that ‘elite’ is definitely something everybody’s striving for,” Murray said Thursday, when First Take asked him about personal 2020 expectations. “I don’t like to speak on too much or what’s going to happen. I want my play to speak for itself.”

Murray’s rookie season spoke well about his future. He was 15th in QBR across the NFL and threw 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions.

His 3,722 passing yards and 544 rushing yards put Murray in elite company. Only he and Cam Newton have thrown for 3,500-plus yards and rushed for 500 or more during their rookie seasons.

Of course, real life does not reflect virtual life, and Murray was also asked on First Take about the Madden NFL 21 ratings that are leaking to precede a full reveal Friday on ESPN. The video game tabbed him as a 77.

“Honestly I thought y’all were joking when you said that because I ended the year at 77,” Murray said. “I can’t even say everything I want to say on the air right now. I kind of take it as disrespect, but it is what it is.

“I don’t know who to talk to. I’ve let them know my complaints many times, I’ve talked to a lot of guys who worked with Madden. I’m really shocked I’m 77 overall. I really don’t know what to say. Oh man, that’s tough.”

So what should Murray — who was not getting ahead of himself — expect to be rated considering he’s just coming off his rookie season?

“At least in the 80s, if we’re talking strictly Madden,” he said. “Anything I have to do with speed, I’m top-tier … somebody in the Madden office trying to hold me back. I don’t know.”


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