Who really runs the Arizona Cardinals?
It’s a legitimate question after the latest in the Kyler Murray contract debacle, which saw the organization publically remove the “homework clause” from Murray’s new contract after public criticism levied at both the quarterback and the organization.
For those not privy, language in Murray’s new five-year, $230 million contract leaked earlier in the week, which included an unprecedented clause that required Murray to study game material for four hours per week on his own to receive “credit.” Hilariously, it also mentioned that Murray couldn’t study while he was distracted by the TV, internet or video games. Failing to do so would open him up to defaulting on the contract.
When the addendum came to light, many openly questioned why the Cardinals would give such a contract to a player they believe has to be forced to study. Murray himself received criticism for being a player who doesn’t want to put in the work while also putting immense pressure on the organization to give him a new contract before winning a playoff game.
Andrew Brandt who worked in a front office, was a player agent and is now an NFL analyst, said he’s never seen a clause like the one in Murray’s contract in 35 years in the NFL.
In order to tamp down the backlash apparently, Murray called an impromptu press conference after Cardinals practice on Thursday, saying at separate times that he was both insulted and amused that people thought he didn’t work hard. Murray said he wouldn’t have been able to get selected No. 1 at his size (5-foot-10) without work ethic.
Shortly after the presser, the Cardinals released the following statement, saying they’ve removed the clause from Murray’s contract.
“After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract.” The statement read. “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 this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”
To recap: Kyler Murray threatened to hold out if he didn’t get an extension, the Cardinals gave him one despite not being sold on his work ethic, that leaked and led to public embarassment for both the team and the player and then the Cardinals removed the independent study requirement after being made fun of.
There is plenty of time for Murray and the Cardinals to prove they know what they’re doing, but at the moment they seem like an organization in chaos.