Given the ongoing contract mini-saga with starter Alex Smith, the progress of rookie quarterback Aaron Murray will naturally garner a lot of attention.
Since the start of rookie minicamp, Murray has been getting plenty of work. But the former Georgia ace has not been free from struggles.
ESPN.com reporter Adam Teicher broke down Murray's showing during rookie minicamp:
Quarterback Aaron Murray, a fifth-round pick from Georgia, was a full participant. Murray wore a brace on his left knee but moved around well. He is only six months removed from surgery after tearing knee ligaments last fall. Murray's first pass was deflected and intercepted by linebacker Dee Ford, the first-round draft pick. Murray made some nice throws, none better than a fade pass that was caught down the left sideline by former Missouri receiver Jerrell Jackson. But Murray also threw a number of interceptions.
Nobody is suggesting Murray is expected to start as a rookie. However, there is a reason Reid and general manager John Dorsey opted to use a fifth-round pick to draft him.
Most of that reasoning involves Smith's current contract standoff. The ex-San Francisco 49ers starter reportedly wants a deal at least on a par, if not above, Chicago Bears passer Jay Cutler, per NFL.com writer Gregg Rosenthal.
But Smith shouldn't expect more than an annual payment of $15 million, according to Teicher:
Jay Cutler got a $126 million contract from the Chicago Bears recently, or an average of $18 million over seven years. But I don’t see the Chiefs going that high for Smith. I’d be very surprised and I don’t think they should go to that number. I would think the Chiefs won’t go much if any past $14 million or $15 million. That’s a lot of ground to cover, so it’s fortunate they have nine months in which to get a deal done.
For his part, Reid seems unmoved by the situation surrounding his starting passer. He remains confident both parties will continue working toward reaching an equitable compromise, per Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star.
But as long as Smith's status seems even a little uncertain, the Chiefs have to consider the future. With only Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel in reserve, that means Reid needs to see more from Murray.