A brutal offseason for the Arizona Cardinals has taken another turn for the worse after one teammate slammed Kyler Murray’s work ethic, claiming the quarterback did not feel inclined to meet expectations after signing a massive $230.5 million contract extension in July.
“It was like they created a monster,” one anonymous veteran told Bally Sports of the implications Murray’s contract extension had on his performance.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray passes under pressure from Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C.
(AP Photo/Rusty Jones)
“Once paid, the veteran said, Murray felt less compulsion to study his game plan or to fulfill the expectations of the franchise QB position than he had in the past, and the Cardinals’ collapse felt predictable.” the report read.
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The Cardinals had previously included an “independent study” clause in Murray’s original contract, which reportedly required him to study game film at least four hours per game week, but that stipulation was later removed after fierce backlash.
“After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract,” the organization said in a statement at the time. “It was clearly perceived in ways that were never intended.”
“Our confidence in Kyler Murray is as high as it’s ever been and nothing demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead his team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up before kickoff against the New England Patriots at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022 in Glendale, Arizona.
(Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
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Murray also defended himself during a press conference over questions about his work ethic. “To think I can accomplish everything I’ve accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game, and not have that passion and not take this serious, it’s disrespectful and almost a joke,” he said.
“I’m honestly flattered that y’all think that, at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game and not take it serious.”
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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Murray underwent knee surgery to repair an ACL injury that he suffered against the New England Patriots on Dec. 12.
The Cardinals started last season with a 10-2 record, emerging as a Super Bowl favorite, but lost four of their final five regular-season games. They lost to the eventual Super Bowl champions in the Wild-Card round.
After a 4-13 finish this season, the Cardinals announced that they had fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury and would be parting ways with general manager Steve Keim, who stepped away to focus on his health.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.