MMQB: Kyler Murray's Camp Met Cardinals with Strong Resistance About Summer Contract

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 18, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 06: Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals and NFC looks on before the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl at against the AFC Allegiant Stadium on February 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The relationship between the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray is in arguably its worst place since his NFL arrival, largely over a lack of movement in contract talks.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported Monday that there was "strong resistance" in the Murray camp about the Cardinals' desire to wait until the summer to negotiate a contract extension. The team wanted to make it through its offseason before engaging in long-term talks, leading to tension between the two sides.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reported last week that Murray is expected to hold out unless he receives a contract extension. The 2019 No. 1 overall pick has two years remaining on his rookie contract, which will pay him a $965,000 base salary in 2022. Arizona has a fifth-year option on Murray's contract that pays $29.7 million.

Contract talks will likely start at a bare minimum of $40 million per season and reach somewhere near $45 million on an annual basis. The Las Vegas Raiders recently handed Derek Carr more than $40 million per season on an extension, and Murray will almost certainly want to eclipse that number.

He hasn't reached the heights of Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, so the sweet spot may be somewhere between $41-43 million per year.

Murray has been named to the Pro Bowl in two of his three NFL seasons, emerging as one of the most dynamic dual threats in the sport. He threw for 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns against five interceptions while adding 423 yards and five scores as a runner in 2021. While Murray's production greatly slowed in the second half of 2021 and he was flummoxed in an NFC Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams, he's delivered a vast improvement at the quarterback spot for the Cardinals. 

This is likely a situation in which the Cardinals are weighing paying top-five money to a quarterback who might not be in the top 10 at his position.