Longtime NFL writer Peter King was astonished that the Arizona Cardinals originally put a clause in Kyler Murray's new contract extension mandating four hours per week of independent game-plan study.
King wrote for Pro Football Talk:
"It's the dumbest clause I've ever seen in an NFL contract. Intentionally or not intentionally (and did someone inside the team actually want to embarrass Murray?), that clause calling for Murray to spend at least four hours studying the game plan in each game week was going to get out. It was too sensational to not get out. And so the result of that would be embarrassing for Murray and point out that the team was worried about whether the young quarterback was devoting enough time to his job."
After the clause was leaked last Monday and became a national story, the Cardinals removed it from Murray's contract:
Not before Murray publicly addressed the situation, however.
"To think that I can accomplish everything that I have accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game and not have that passion and not take this serious is disrespectful, and it's almost a joke," he told reporters Thursday. "To me, I'm flattered. I want to say flattered that you all think that at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game, and not take it serious."
Albert Breer of The MMQB provided more context on the decision to add the clause, reporting that there has been "lingering questions about Murray’s leadership going back to when he was drafted, and his in-and-out participation in the offseason program the last two years."
Breer added that he doesn't believe "this is so much about Murray putting the time in as it is about how he allots his time," adding that the star quarterback has been "dogged for having a so-called baseball-player mentality (as a sort of independent contractor) more so than a quarterback mentality."
Either way, a story about the team and its franchise quarterback agreeing to a massive contract extension instead became the story of that unique—and odd—clause. It can't be the sort of headlines the Cardinals were hoping to make this summer.