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Kyler Murray trade not expected, Arizona Cardinals QB ‘budgeted’ for new contract

Matt Johnson

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is threatening to not play in 2022 unless he receives a new contract or is traded. While the 24-year-old NFL star does have some leverage, NFL teams aren’t expecting any surprises with the final outcome.

The situation between Murray and the Cardinals became tense this offseason and it hasn’t improved. Instead, it’s become an exchange of antics on social media and messages sent through official statements or leaked reports.

Murray wiped all references to the Cardinals off his social media. Teammate Christian Kirk poured fuel on the fire of NFL trade rumors and Arizona’s front office added to the drama with leaked reports calling Murray ‘self-centered and immature.’ Things quieted down for a week, then Murray’s agent threatened a holdout on his client’s behalf with the threat of a trade demand or sitting out games.

Related: Why an MLB career will never happen for Kyler Murray

All of this comes at a time when numerous teams are desperate for a face of the franchise. In a weak 2022 draft class at quarterback, the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers would all love to have Murray.

When NFL reporter Jeremy Fowler called around the league and spoke with teams, though, no one in the industry indicated any belief that Murray will be traded. Instead, most think the Cardinals are preparing to make Murray one of the highest paid NFL players.

“They think that Arizona knows that they have a good situation with him, a franchise quarterback. And that really Arizona, I’m told, has budgeted for having to re-sign Murray for a while now. They knew this day was coming, just probably a little earlier than they thought it would based on the pressure that Murray and his agent have put on things. Now, I’m told that Murray has talked to teammates and been encouraging as in, ‘Hey, look, I love Arizona, I think I’m going to be here, things should work out.’

ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler on league evalaution of Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s situation

Arizona knows the value of an excellent quarterback. It experienced purgatory at the position and is fully aware of how many years it takes to find a good starter, let alone a perennial NFL MVP candidate. Murray isn’t even in his prime years yet and the former No. 1 pick is also marketable, providing the franchise with even more value.

It comes as no surprise that the Cardinals are prepared to pay Murray in the immediate future, that happens with the best quarterbacks on rookie contracts at this stage. However, the front office wanted to follow the timeline that worked for Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, working out a deal in the summer.

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It seems, per ESPN, that Murray wants a long-term extension much sooner than that.

“Still some questions whether he’ll show up for offseason workouts coming up, given his contract situation. And something’s going to have to reach a boiling point, because he’s going to want a deal soon, possibly around draft time. If it doesn’t happen by then, things could get even more complicated.”

Jeremy Fowler on the potential for Kyler Murray to escalate issues with Arizona Cardinals

With only days remaining until the NFL Draft, it’s highly unlikely a contract is figured out considering Arizona never made a contract proposal. Based on Fowler’s reporting, it’s an outcome that means the situation might get even uglier.

Ultimately, this is all about creating leverage for negotiations and it would be a surprise if Murray isn’t the Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback in 2022 with a new contract.