When Arizona Cardinals star quarterback Kyler Murray scrubbed any mention of his organization on social media earlier this offseason, it threw a lot of people for a loop.
The former No. 1 pick and his team are coming off yet another late-season meltdown — culminating in a blowout loss to the eventual conference champion Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Playoffs.
Now, roughly a month following said loss, we’re hearing more on this courtesy of ESPN’s Chris Mortensen. To say it’s not great would be an understatement.
“The odd vibe between the @AZCardinals and Kyler Murray is indeed alarming: Murray is described as self-centered, immature and finger pointer, per sources. Murray is frustrated with franchise and was embarrassed by playoff loss to Rams and thinks he’s been framed as the scapegoat.”Chris Mortensen on Kyle Murray, Arizona Cardinals drama (Feb 13, 2022)
Mortensen went on to add that the “Cardinals expect things to calm down and murray is their QB.” Interestingly, the Cardinals also scrubbed any mention of Murray from their social media pages after the quarterback did the same thing earlier in the winter.
We’re not sure where the confidence is that things will get better on this front given the public nature of their spat.
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There might be confidence within the Cardinals’ organization that seems will calm down on this front. However, there’s a lot more to look at here outside of a perceived rift.
The No. 1 pick back in 2019, Murray is said to be looking at well north of $40 million annualy on his new contract. Having been in the league three years, he’s eligible for his first extension this offseason. That will likely play a role in how the relationship develops (or doesn’t). If Arizona refuses to offer Murray an extension or said offer comes in below market value, there’s a scenario that the relationship could deteriorate even further.
Murray’s play on the field toward the end of the 2021 season also left a lot to be desired. He tossed zero touchdowns and two interceptions in Arizona’s blowout 34-11 loss to Los Angeles in the aforementioned NFC Wild Card Playoffs. As Arizona lost five of its final seven regular-season games, Murray struggled during that span.
- Kyler Murray stats (first seven games): 73% completion, 2,002 passing yards, 20 total TD, 5 INT, 116.8 rating
- Kyler Murray stats (final seven games): 65.5% completion, 1,785 passing yarrds, 9 total TD, 5 INT, 86.5 rating
It’s not a coincidence that the Cardinals went 7-0 in those first seven starts before dropping off big time when Murray struggled down the stretch. This, too, has to be of concern for the Cardinals’ brass.
Either way, we have not heard the last of this. There’s an obvious disconnect between the former Heisman winner and his organization. How the next several weeks play out behind the scenes (and in a public forum) will be telling. Right now, there’s at least a chance that Murray is calling another NFL city home once the 2022 season comes calling.