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Arizona Cardinals throw support behind Kyler Murray ahead of Week 1

There has been a lot of talk about injured Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. He’s currently on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List and will miss at least the first four games of the regular season.

Meanwhile, rumors have persisted that Murray will not play at all in 2023 as Arizona potentially tanks for USC star Caleb Williams in the 2024 NFL Draft.

All of that noise is just rumors and innuendo at this point. The Cardinals continue to say everything right publicly as it relates to Murray. That now includes first-year offensive coordinator Drew Petzing, who showered the former No. 1 pick with praise ahead of Arizona’s Week 1 outing against the Washington Commanders.

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“He’s been unbelievable, really since we walked in the building,” Petzing said of Kyler Murray. “Just done everything we’ve asked from a rehab standpoint, from a learning-the-offense standpoint, from an engagement in the offensive room and getting to know his teammates and things like that.”

The new offensive coordinator also views Murray as a franchise quarterback moving forward.

“[I’m] really pleased with where he’s at, kind of how he’s handled things. I think that’s one of the main reasons you see him as a captain,” Petzing told reporters. “I certainly view him as a franchise quarterback and a leader of this organization, and I think his teammates do, too. So, I was really happy for him to kind of get that nod. It’s been good.”

The noise surrounding Murray stems from both his contract and what was a drama-filled 2022 campaign for the quarterback and Arizona’s former brass. Murray was seen getting into it with then-head coach Kliff Kingsbury multiple times. Former Cardinals GM Steve Keim has also not held back his criticism of the quarterback since he was fired.

But a completely new Cardinals power elite starting with head coach Jonathan Gannon are apparently working off a clean slate with Murray.

Related: Ranking Kyler Murray and the NFL’s 32 starting QBs

Kyler Murray contract: 5 years, $230.5 million — $103 million fully guaranteed

NFL: Preseason-Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

That contract is a major backdrop here. Murray can earn another $92 million in cash that’s guaranteed for injury only. If Murray does not pass his physical at the start of the new league year next March, Arizona will be on the hook for $56 million of that.

This little-known fact had led to rumors that the Cardinals would sit Murray for the entire season to avoid those guarantees. But given the fact that he was named team captain, that seems highly unlikely.

As for what Arizona plans to do until Murray returns, Gannon has not yet named a starting quarterback for Week 1. It’s between rookie mid-round pick Clayton Tune and recently acquired veteran Joshua Dobbs.

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