Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Cardinals rip up ‘homework’ clause in Kyler Murray’s contract after QB says it’s ‘disrespectful’ and ‘a joke’

The Arizona Cardinals decided enough was enough with the controversial homework clause in Kyler Murray’s contract, ripping up the clause this week. Per NFL Network, the clause was eliminated a day ago, hours before Murray’s rant about the clause at his surprise press conference Thursday. 

Arizona released a statement following the decision. 

“After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the referendum from the contract. 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.” 

The Cardinals made a big commitment to Murray by signing the quarterback to a $230.5 million extension ahead of training camp. The franchise raised eyebrows when reports revealed the deal included an unprecedented addendum mandating Murray complete four hours of independent game study per week, implying the Pro Bowler would’ve failed to do so otherwise. 

Murray sounded off in the aftermath, calling an impromptu press conference Thursday to criticize subsequent discussion of his work ethic.

“I feel it’s necessary (to talk), with what’s going on regarding me, and the things that have been said about me,” Murray told reporters. “To think that I can accomplish everything that I’ve accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game, and not have passion and not take this serious, is almost disrespectful, and it’s almost a joke.”

“I’m flattered, I’m honestly flattered that, at my size, (you believe) I can go out there and not prepare for the game and not take it serious,” he continued. “It’s disrespectful to my peers, to all the great athletes and great players that are in this league. This game’s too hard, to play the position that I play in this league, it’s too hard (not to study). … It’s funny, but to those of you out there that believe I’d be standing here today, in front of ya’ll, without having a work ethic and without preparing, I’m honored that you’d think that, but it doesn’t exist. It’s not possible.”

Murray added that he’s “put in an incomprehensible amount of time, and blood, sweat and tears” into being the Cardinals’ QB. He declined, however, to say whether he’s upset that Arizona would include the studying clause in his contract, which he signed.

He also did not reference a previous New York Times report that quoted him downplaying the necessity of film study in the NFL: “I’m not one of those guys that’s going to sit there and kill myself watching film,” Murray said last December. “I don’t sit there for 24 hours and break down this team and that team and watch every game because, in my head, I see so much.”

This is just the latest in a long line of drama related to Murray’s standing with the Cardinals this offseason. The QB’s new contract ties him to Arizona through 2028 and makes him one of the highest-paid players in the NFL. But it wasn’t finalized until after public and private tension between the two sides. ESPN reported after the 2021 season that Cardinals management was concerned about Murray’s leadership, and the QB subsequently deleted all Cardinals references from his social media, before his agent, Erik Burkhardt, essentially demanded a new contract for his client.

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