Kyler Murray, Cardinals agree to extension through 2028
Quarterback Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals have agreed on a contract extension through the 2028 season that will make him one of the top-paid players in the NFL, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero first reported. They added that the team and Murray’s camp have been hashing out a deal “nonstop for weeks.”
Murray’s deal is a five-year extension worth $230.5 million with $160 guaranteed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. As of Thursday, the average annual value stands at $46.1 million, making him the second-highest paid quarterback per year behind the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers.
Arizona’s quarterbacks are set to report to training camp on Thursday with rookies, six days before the full team gathers next Wednesday, according to Pelissero.
The successful negotiations come after a tumultuous offseason for the QB and the organization.
Shortly after the team’s dismal NFC Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams, it was discovered that Murray had scrubbed his Instagram page of nearly everything, including all things Cardinals, outside of two posts from the 2022 Pro Bowl and when he won the Heisman Trophy in 2018.
Nearly a week after the social media scrub and plenty of speculation on what was the reasoning behind it, reports on Super Bowl Sunday painted a picture of discontent between the signal-caller and team.
The two sides proceeded to trade statements before Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill doubled down on the team’s feelings on the QB a little over a week later while on with Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta, adding he is in the category of those who love Murray and expressing his confidence that the QB will continue to progress. Bidwill also spoke on the complexity of getting an extension done.
Three days later, Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, issued a statement of his own putting onus on the Cardinals to make the signal caller’s extension a top priority this offseason, saying “actions speak louder than words.”
The statement came the week of the NFL Combine, where head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim were scheduled to speak. Keim and Kingsbury both said similar remarks about it being a “business” and that Murray’s agent was just doing his job.
Two days after the statement, the Cardinals announced extensions for Keim and Kingsbury through the 2027 season. Keim’s original contract ran through 2022 while Kingsbury’s had a fifth-year team option for 2023. Kingsbury is also represented by Burkhardt.
On March 8, less than a week later, Murray undid the scrubbing of his Instagram account and had all his pictures back. Later in the month, he told reporters he wasn’t concerned about his future with the team.
Reports didn’t slow down in April, either, with Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro confirming that Murray’s agent had pulled the team’s contract proposal off the table. A few days later, Murray and many of the team’s veterans were not in attendance or the start of Arizona’s strength and conditioning program. The group’s decision instead was to train on their own. Veterans J.J. Watt and James Conner called Murray’s absence no big deal.
Then things took a turn for the better between the two sides two days later. Two hours after Keim stated that there was “zero chance” that the team was going to trade the franchise QB during a pre-NFL Draft press conference, Murray took to social media to respond to various tweets regarding his status in the Valley and doubled down on his desire to remain with Arizona.
Nearly a week later, the team exercised Murray’s fifth-year option.
The new deal follows the timeline of recent big-name quarterback extensions like the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen (2021) and the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes (2020), who each received extensions after Year 3.
Murray, the first overall pick in 2019, completed 69.2% of his passes for 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns to 10 interceptions, helping lead Arizona to an 11-6 mark and a playoff berth for the first time since 2015.
He also chipped in 423 yards on the ground with five scores on 88 carries.
Receiving an extension was atop Murray’s and his agent’s priorities list this offseason following a third consecutive season of improvement for Arizona. The Cardinals’ record has improved by three games in each of the previous three seasons since Murray joined the franchise as the 2019 No. 1 overall pick.