The Arizona Cardinals had their second disappointing NFL season last year but the team remains committed to defending some of their top players, particularly quarterback Kyler Murray.
Murray’s teammates stood behind the fourth-year quarterback despite Arizona coming off a blowout loss in the NFC wild-card round last season.
Check out why the Cardinals should not give up on Murray, who still commands the respect of his teammates, as the quarterback works on a new contract to ensure his future,
MURRAY VITAL PART OF CARDINALS’ FUTURE
Left tackle D.J. Humphries described Murray as “my quarterback,” as he defended his teammate, who attended just one of the many organized team activities (OTAs) held by the Cardinals since May.
“If you think that Kyler is not our future, you are a plum fool. There’s no question of that,” Humphries was quoted by ESPN as saying.
The left tackle remains convinced that Murray is still a big part of the Cardinals’ plans moving forward despite Arizona losing to the Los Angeles Ram in the NFC wild-card playoff match.
COACH SAYS MURRAY, MCCOY RELATIONSHIP PLAYS BIG ROLE
Even if Murray only reported for one of three voluntary OTAs, as well as the mandatory minicamp, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury opted to focus on another matter.
The Cardinals went around ongoing practices without Murray by giving backup quarterback Colt McCoy a more active role, says Kingsbury.
It helps that Murray and McCoy have a “great relationship,” as the former can “work through things” with the latter, particularly “things that maybe were cloudy last year,” the Cardinals coach said.
NEW DEAL AIMS TO REWARD MURRAY AS FRANCHISE PLAYER
Contract talks between Arizona and Murray remain at a snail’s pace, which plays a big role in why the quarterback has not attended all OTAs in the Cardinals’ minicamp.
The Cardinals’ decision to guarantee Murray’s return in 2023 may not be enough to appease the quarterback, who is determined to land a lucrative extension deal where he can be rewarded as Arizona’s cornerstone moving forward.
This means Murray’s current $5.5 million this year and $29.7 million next year after his fifth-year option that was picked up for 2023 may not be enough for Arizona’s rising star.
FITZGERALD’S PRAISE GOES A LONG WAY
Aside from his teammates, the biggest confidence booster for Murray amid the slowdown in his contract extension talks comes from an Arizona great.
Murray’s athleticism, as well as his “ability to throw the ball going left or right” sums up the natural talent the Cardinals need to nurture for the future, Arizona’s all-time receiving leader Larry Fitzgerald told the NFL Network.
“There’s nobody in the game as talented, and that has as diverse an array of ability as Kyler Murray,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s for sure (the long-term guy) for the Cardinals.”
The Arizona legend believes that Murray will complement the addition of Marquise Brown, as well as better efforts from tight end Zach Ertz and running back James Conner to make the Cardinals a better team moving forward.