ARIZONA CARDINALS

PFF projects Kyler Murray’s contract extension will make him a top-paid QB

Jul 20, 2022, 8:45 AM

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to throw the ball as Benson Mayowa #10 of the Seattl...

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to throw the ball as Benson Mayowa #10 of the Seattle Seahawks applies pressure during the first half at State Farm Stadium on January 09, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The very public comments coming from Kyler Murray’s camp paired with the way the Arizona Cardinals quarterback finished the 2021 season — with a flop of a playoff debut — made it appear the signal caller was at odds with what he wanted versus how he is valued.

But the reality is that Murray, before a tumble at the end of last year and in the playoff game, is among one of the better QBs in the NFL.

Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger expects Murray will be paid like it.

Spielberger made a projection of 10 extensions across the NFL that could be signed before training camps begin, leading off with the Cardinals quarterback.

Murray has back-to-back Pro Bowl nods to his name and almost immediately transformed the Cardinals into a playoff team in a gauntlet NFC West division. His fifth-year option for 2023 is the maximum $29.703 million as a result of his Pro Bowl honors, and while he can stand to improve elements of his game, as any young quarterback can, he’s proven already he deserves to be among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.

Contract Projection: Six years, $280 million ($46.67 million per year), $155 million total guaranteed

That’s comparable to Spielberger’s projected new contract for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who the PFF analyst has agreeing to a four-year, $188 million ($47 million per year) contract with $140 million guaranteed.

For reference, Spotrac has only five quarterbacks making more than $40 million in yearly cash for the upcoming season.

Recency bias might have something to do with any expectation that Murray’s contract isn’t close to that type of deal.

Murray was among the MVP favorites through the first half of the 2021 season and ranked first in passing grade and big-time throw percentage, according to PFF’s metrics. Murray fell off after the team lost DeAndre Hopkins for a variety of reasons.

Among them, as Spielberger points out, Murray’s yards-per-attempt in Weeks 1-14 was 8.7, first in the league. It dropped to 5.9 yards per attempt in Weeks 15-19, ranking 28th.

Negotiations between Murray’s representatives and the Cardinals apparently are in a good spot compared to a few months ago, meaning there’s progress that a contract could get done before camp that opens to the full team next week.

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