Kyler Murray Gets Paid

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has agreed to a new five-year extension that makes him one of the richest players in the NFL. The deal goes from 2024 through 2028 and is worth $230.5 million, which is $0.5 million higher than the deal Deshaun Watson got from the Cleveland Browns. There is $160 million in guaranteed money. The annual value of this deal is $46.1 million, which puts Murray behind only Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million annually).

Murray was one of the top quarterbacks in the league last year by our advanced metrics. He finished seventh in passing DVOA (vlue per play) and ninth in passing DYAR (total value). His rushing value was negative but that was entirely due to fumbled snaps, and Murray had positive rushing value in previous seasons. But his passing value had never been as high as it was last year. In 2020, for example, Murray was just 15th in passing DYAR and 18th in passing DVOA. Our KUBIAK projections for 2022 have Murray declining, in part because of regression to past performance and in part because of the loss of DeAndre Hopkins for the first part of the season (and Christian Kirk for the entire season).

That being said, you pay your guys when they come up for new contracts and you don't really get to choose the timing. If you look at Murray's performance, separate from the players around him, is he a "win because of" quarterback or just a "you can win with him" quarterback? He may be at the bottom of the "win because of" tier, but he's definitely in that tier. And when you get a chance to pay those quarterbacks, you pay them.

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82 comments, Last at 03 Aug 2022, 11:22pm

#1 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:00pm

Let's remove the "deserve" from the value equation. I do think the more teams sign these kinds of players to these kinds of contracts, the more it improves the Chiefs title odds. The difference in value between Mahomes and Murray is much larger than the difference is between their contracts. If value tracked with dollars, that would be one thing, but it clearly does not in this case. 

Murray is juuuuuust good enough to justify this money even though the most likely scenario for the Cardinals is ending up in a Minnesota like path; where they get a few cracks at it before the core ages and the Qb props up a bad roster to 6-9 win seasons. 

I do wonder if eventually, with these kinds of deals; we get a bifurcated league where the contenders are either teams with great qbs on rookie contracts, teams with terrific qbs that are underpaid relative to their value; and then everyone else is either out of contention or just a pseudo contender. 

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#4 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:11pm

There are more options than that.

Denver and Philly won titles getting basically nothing from their QB1. The Goff Rams and the 49ers were frequently semi-finalists or better despite following a contrarian path.

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#6 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:24pm

Of the examples you listed, Denver definitely won in spite of their QB play.

The eagles, in part behind great QB play(if only for that one year) and rookie wage; were enabled to climb to the 1 seed, which meant avoiding one round and getting homefield to survive the rest. This wasn't a team getting by on bad qb play the entire year. And the Goff Rams also qualify in that rookie qb discount. 

The 49ers are an example that I am referring to. As Jimmy G's of the world start commanding ever growing salaries; those type of teams are going to have a harder time competing imo. 

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#9 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:44pm

You didn't say "rookie QB discount." You said "great qbs on rookie contracts."

Goff was not a great QB.

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#11 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:45pm

Should ammend to "good" qb on a rookie contract. Unlike others, I refuse to believe McVay is so great that he can take an epic failure at quarterback and make him a near mvp. 

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#14 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 2:27pm

The eagles, in part behind great QB play

There's a difference between winning in spite of their QB play and in spite of their QB. The Eagles won the Super Bowl in spite of their QB (and the Rams got there in spite of their QB).

Goff was not a great QB, but they compensated with great scheme and overall talent. Foles and Wentz were not great QBs, but the Eagles compensated because of an all-time great offensive line.

I don't like pretending that Goff/Foles/Wentz were "good and then suddenly turned bad." At this point it's clear that all of them are very limited QBs, and they always have been. It's the rest of the team that made them look great.

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#12 by Harris // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:53pm

. . . What? Wentz was a strong contender for MVP and Foles played two of the greatest games I've ever seen. Admittedly, he did that in six starts, but they won five of those games and the sixth was irrelevant.

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#16 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 2:53pm

Wentz was a strong contender for MVP and Foles played two of the greatest games I've ever seen.

Easy to do that when you've got enough time for tea and crumpets. You want to see greatness, watch Kelce those games. Minnesota and New England just couldn't do anything. Kelce blocked two guys at once on one play. A center! Blocking 2 guys! One with each arm!

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#19 by Harris // Jul 21, 2022 - 3:27pm

Without question, the OL was absolutely dominant that year. That said, Foles was so bad against Oakland and Dallas that there was talk that Sudfeld could start against Atlanta.

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#22 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 3:47pm

Yeah, that was because the coaching/play calling didn't adapt. Wentz is super-weird, he's actually literally a better passer while moving and in RPO-y type stuff where he doesn't drop/settle. It's so strange. Once they moved to more typical plays (that Foles was comfortable with) and things settled in, it just became video-game time.

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#39 by Harris // Jul 21, 2022 - 10:38pm

Foles threw four TDs against the Giants and, yeah, they were awful but so was Oakland. He went Super Saiyan in the playoffs, but it wasn't just the OL and play calling. He was perfectly capable of going into god mode at any time, see his previous game against the Raiders, but he could never make it last.

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#46 by Pat // Jul 22, 2022 - 12:22pm

Foles threw four TDs against the Giants

He got handed the ball in the red zone twice! He wasn't exactly next level epic or something that game. The Giants offense outplayed the Eagles offense that game quite solidly (by like 5 points) - the Eagles special teams won that game. Manning threw for like 200 more yards than Philly did and it's not like it was garbage time or something. They had the ball in the red zone down 5 under 2 minutes.

Yeah he was capital-B bad versus the Raiders, but the Giants and Falcons games were very similar, just without the defensive/special teams offensive contributions. The Giants, Raiders and Falcons games were with awkward playcalling (for Foles), the Vikings and Patriots games shifted things up.

That's a good portion of the reason why the Eagles beat the Patriots, too - Belichick's defenses are very film heavy, and when a team just shifts massively like the Eagles did that's really hard. You can hear that in a lot of the sideline commentary from the Super Bowl. They're not like "damn, Foles," they're commenting on the playcalling and the fact that they can't get pressure.

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#48 by theTDC // Jul 23, 2022 - 7:07pm

I also question how good Foles actually was with that Philly team. Same for Wentz. Alston Jeffrey could make inaccurate QB’s look much better than they actually were back then, so the jury is still out on them, even if Foles looked like a World Beater for his relief performance and Wentz looked like an MVP.

The corpse of Payton Manning winning is an open and shut case on the necessity of a “Super Bowl QB,” to a Super Bowl. He was a replacement level guy who got dragged over the line by his teammates, something most backup QBs could also have done. 

I think the winning strategies are:

1) have a legitimately elite QB and pay them 50 mil per year.

2) Take a gamble on a bunch of cheap backups and have a nice camp competition to get serviceable QB play for serviceable prices.

As others have said, nobody in their right mind would take Kyler Murray + 5 mil cap space over Patrick Mahomes.

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#49 by Pat // Jul 24, 2022 - 12:45pm

I would question strongly #1. Until we see some actual success from the salary top tier teams (Watson, Prescott, Rodgers, even Cousins), I question whether paying top-end QB salaries is viable.

So it's more like "get an elite QB cheap somehow and extend them way out the wazoo and keep doing so."

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#50 by theslothook // Jul 26, 2022 - 10:42am

If Mahomes came to the Chiefs and said, I want 55 a year. Are the Chiefs truly better off saying goodbye?

Because we know he'd definitely get that in an open market.

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#52 by Pat // Jul 26, 2022 - 11:06am

Again, for reference, the current leading QB contract is Watson's at just over $40M/yr in flat cap dollars (so "total value = sum(from t=0 to t=last year)((40M)*(1.06)^t)" where t is the number of years from now).

So I don't know what you mean by "55 a year." Mahomes gets $55M/yr in a few years, after all.

You can funny-money a contract all you want to get 55M a year, just say you'll rip up the last X years of the contract and re-extend it. Poof, extension is $55M/yr and it barely cost you anything because exponential growth. Mahomes is making just around $32M/yr in flat cap dollars now. So are you talking about a literal 72% raise? Yes, at that point, the Chiefs would be better off saying goodbye. Obviously.

But I think you're saying more like if Mahomes demanded Watson's exact contract plus a decent raise, would the Chiefs be better off saying goodbye? I really don't know. It seems obvious to say "heck no" but I also have severe doubts they could stay competitive at that point. '23 is already a difficult year. They can get through it pretty easy at this point because things open up so much after it, but if Mahomes was close to free agency at that point the outlook wouldn't be so rosy.

Edit: I should note that when I say "stay competitive" I don't mean in an absolute sense, I mean relative to, say, Buffalo (and Arizona too, probably, but out-of-conference - maybe the Rams as well). A similar question would be "if Herbert goes and pulls Prescott's trick, should the Chargers keep him" - and it's a similar thing there. If everyone's contract starts jumping up to Watson/Prescott/Rodgers level, yeah, obviously, you pay them. But there are enough cheap young QBs who aren't pulling the "break history" routine that I think it's dangerous.

Dunno why, but I just have the feeling that Herbert won't blow things up, and Jackson (and Wilson) will. Which will really be interesting.

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#53 by KnotMe // Jul 26, 2022 - 2:04pm

Your probably better off keeping the QB regardless just bc the drop off would be so bad. 

I suppose the interesting hypothetical would be( I know this probably won't happen for many reasons)....Suppose Trevor Lawrence breaks out becomes an elite QB(say liker Herbert or take your pick) and him and Mac Jones hit FA at the same time. Do you pay the guy the record breaking (at the time contract) or a pretty good guy like half or less? 

How much cheaper does the next option have to be to be better?  Really, it's not so much that the top guys are overpaid,but that the middle guys are over paid.   The top 5 guys you can probably just pay them whatever and it's fine. It's the 5-10 guys that are dangerous bc they get payed like the top5 but arn't quite as good but also arn't clearly less good so they are cheaper. 

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#54 by Pat // Jul 26, 2022 - 2:25pm

Your probably better off keeping the QB regardless just bc the drop off would be so bad. 

Yeah, thinking about it I agree. Probably a better way of stating the comparison is that with Mahomes's current contract they don't really need to try to maximize a window or anything. They can still play the long game. The Browns, Packers, and Cowboys absolutely do need to focus entirely short-term.

If Mahomes comes out demanding Watson money, you still give it to him, but in some sense your mindset starts to shift to something more Rams-like: screw the future, play for now, etc.

The top 5 guys you can probably just pay them whatever and it's fine.

I really don't know. The Packers/Browns/Cowboys are the interesting example cases here. Those teams really do have top QBs, but they seriously have to focus on short-term returns.

I think pretty much everyone discounts the Vikings because they're totally in your trap of paying a guy top-5 money when he's nowhere near there.

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#17 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 3:20pm

The difference in value between Mahomes and Murray is much larger than the difference is between their contracts.

Especially because Mahomes's contract is cheaper than Murray's. Mahomes's contract's a joke. By 2028 Mahomes will have earned only $30M more than Murray despite being 2 years more into the contract and still having 3 more years to go. If Mahomes actually played out his contract completely and Murray does too (and stays even roughly where he is now) it's extremely likely Murray could eventually out-earn Mahomes.

Mahome's contract in flat cap dollars (using 6% growth) is $31.97M/yr (or 15.3%) which is less than Murray's.

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#18 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 3:24pm

I would be pretty stunned if mahomes played out the entire contract. I think it was written to give them flexibility today because he knew he would be renegotiating a new one as the cap increased. 

If I remember correctly, it's heavy on guarantees so he's basically signed a big insurance contract.

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#21 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 3:32pm

If I remember correctly, it's heavy on guarantees so he's basically signed a big insurance contract.

I don't understand. Mahomes's contract is ludicrously team friendly. The Chiefs would be 100% totally and completely happy to have Mahomes on that contract for every single year. They have no need to renegotiate that contract ever. It only tops 20% cap in one year, and only barely!

The only way I see the Chiefs renegotiating that contract is if we start hearing "Mahomes is unhappy behind the scenes" type stuff. Which I kinda doubt - he makes a ton of money off of his image, and that's easily enough to make up for the salary differences. I'm betting Mahomes is the new Brady - a very top end QB who ends up dramatically underpaid because he's effectively a celebrity.

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#23 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 4:12pm

But Brady seems to be the exception to the rule. Manning and Rogers have both been icons and celebrities and I don't think they were very generous with pay cuts.


More to the point, the contract is so far out that he'll start looking underpaid by year six of it relative to the rest of the league. Maybe he is so generous, but I doubt it only because it runs counter to what most people do.

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#29 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 5:08pm

Manning and Rogers have both been icons and celebrities and I don't think they were very generous with pay cuts.

Oh, heck yes. Until recently, at least, with Rodgers. Prior to '18 he was definitely underpaid, and Manning was underpaid his entire career too. Not to the degree that Brady was, sure, but absolutely very generous. Rodgers was similarly well underpaid by that contract extension in '13.

Let me put it this way: through '17, Rodgers had earned $138M. He had an MVP and a Super Bowl victory. Alex Smith - the guy who was drafted 1st in the same year? $139M through '17. Eli Manning was like $199M through '17, and Palmer was like $170M. Now, you might say "well, that's due to the bloated rookie contracts then and Rodgers sitting on the bench" but, I mean... it's still money. Even in '13 when Rodgers had an MVP and a Super Bowl victory his contract was only basically right around Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco.

Brady was very generous for a long time, definitely, but Rodgers and Manning weren't pulling "I need to just blow up the market" deals back in the 2000-2010s.

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#38 by Will Allen // Jul 21, 2022 - 10:33pm

Hell, Sam Bradford made 130 million in 9 years.

Tom Condon is a great agent.

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#43 by Pat // Jul 22, 2022 - 10:57am

It's also worth noting that the whole "Brady played super-cheap" is a bit overblown (at least, relative to Manning and Rodgers). I mean - he did play cheap. But the guy made $230M from the Patriots and he started out as a 6th round pick (so his rookie contract was absolute trash, under $1M) . Manning from '98 to '15 made $240M, and $46M of that was on his rookie contract.

So realistically there isn't that much difference between Brady and Manning in terms of salary. There is a difference, don't get me wrong. But it's just difficult to see due to cap funny-money. Both of them were cheap relative to their performance.

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#59 by coltsandrew // Jul 28, 2022 - 12:56pm

Tangentially, this is why, say, Kirk Cousins will never win a Superbowl. He's the exact opposite of Brady, in that his biggest concern is getting maximum dollars. Brady prefers rings to money, much like Manning, whereas Cousins and apparently Murray prefer money. I can't blame anyone for preferring one to the other, but it shouldn't surprise anyone if Murray starts flaming out early in the playoffs, assuming he makes it, when other QBs that prioritize money over rings have been doing the same.

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#62 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 28, 2022 - 4:49pm

He's the exact opposite of Brady, in that his biggest concern is getting maximum dollars.

Brady just went about that a different way. Giselle out-earns him. That's a luxury few professional athletes have.

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#63 by Pat // Jul 28, 2022 - 6:01pm

I think it's also pretty naive to think Brady doesn't care about the money. He signed a deal with Fox Sports for more money than he made as an NFL player. He's an entertainer. Maximizing his image is the most valuable thing.

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#25 by dank067 // Jul 21, 2022 - 4:32pm

I think the spike in Mahomes's 2027 cap hit creates an incentive for the Chiefs to re-negotiate with Mahomes within the next few years, and I'm sure the contract was designed that way. Starting in spring 2023, if the Chiefs want to restructure his contract at any point to lower the immediate cap hit (e.g. convert current year roster bonus into signing bonus), they won't be able to do so without either (i) shortening the proration period and adding larger chunks to the cap in 2025-2026 or (ii) adding to that 2027 cap hit, which is currently $60 million. It's still totally a team-friendly deal as it stands right now - I'm talking about 2025 cap numbers in 2022 - so the Chiefs certainly don't need to re-negotiate anything in the near term unless Mahomes does start to express some displeasure. But if they do push any more money backwards over the next several offseasons, they would be giving Mahomes leverage by adding to those 2025-2027 cap numbers, and so they'll probably eventually want to re-negotiate with him, especially before his 2027 roster bonus becomes guaranteed in spring 2026.

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#31 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 5:19pm

I think the spike in Mahomes's 2027 cap hit

What? $60M? When the cap should be $300M? 20%? Whoop-de-doo. Peyton Manning was getting 20% of the cap back in 2003, and that was a bigger deal because rookie and vet salary minimum were a bigger fraction. At age 32? I'd write that check with a smile on my face.

Rodgers hits $60M two years earlier!

Starting in spring 2023, if the Chiefs want to restructure his contract at any point 

Why bother? It's only 20%, again. They can just restructure everyone else and just leave his alone. I mean, they could restructure his, too, sure, but they don't need to. It's less than Prescott's cap hit that year and way less than Watson's. And '23 is literally his peak year - it'll be less in '27. Through 2031!

If I'm the Chiefs, that contract is effing gold and I ain't touching it at all.

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#33 by dank067 // Jul 21, 2022 - 6:02pm

But besides Manning in '03, hardly any other QB has ever played on even a 17% cap hit. Manning in '09 (17.2%) and Wilson last season (17.5%) are actually the only other examples I've found after a few minutes of checking. Mahomes this season will be the next at 17.1% - which is happening now because they've already restructured his current contract once in 2021 - Allen is slated to hit 17.7% in '23, and I guess Dak and Watson are slated to exceed 20% in 2023, but I think those two are basically guaranteed to be restructured given their teams' roster situations. And I think it's much more attractive to restructure the franchise QB than players at other positions, especially at Mahomes's age, because you know you're planning to keep him around and not worried about his aging curve.

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#34 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 6:15pm

Your last sentence is why I'm positive that Mahomes when he gave this contract never actually expected to live by it for the full number of years.


I think there was an understanding all along. The 10 years gave a kind of insurance in the worst case, But otherwise it was probably expected at certain junctures they were going to renegotiate it.

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#45 by Pat // Jul 22, 2022 - 11:26am

I think the Chiefs obviously will keep Mahomes happy, but I also think the contract is large enough that if they keep a good relationship with him (and market him well, which they are) - he won't care. That's the main thing that happened with Prescott, Rodgers, and Watson. None of those guys had good relationships with the team, and so they had to dump money at them. Rodgers honestly confuses me, because he seemed so marketable, but who knows. 

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#42 by Pat // Jul 22, 2022 - 10:45am

and Wilson last season (17.5%) are actually the only other examples I've found after a few minutes of checking. 

That's a bit tricky. The issue is that you're comparing past cap percentages (from OTC, I'm guessing) with future ones. Past ones are based on actual team cap values (not nominal cap values) and future ones are based on nominal cap values. And teams of course can push unspent money forward, so if a team knows they're going to be tight on the cap one year, they go lean the prior and hey, things are easier. Kirk Cousins's '21 cap hit was 31.16M, which should be 17% but ended up being 16.7%. In other words that "20%" for Mahomes will probably not be 20% by the time they get there.

The other problem is with the pandemic and the recent trends of pushing money forward (and moving QBs around!) that you end up with "split" QB cap fractions. Like the Rams having $24.7M of Goff and $20M of Stafford (equalling 24% of the nominal cap) or the Falcons this year with Ryan and Mariota hitting $44M (or 21%). Or Wentz and Hurts equaling ~$35M (around 19% of the nominal cap).  Teams have begun paying larger and larger fractions to QBs over time, so 20% nominal in 2023 is not a huge outlier.

Mahomes's contract is really undeniably extremely cheap. That's the power of exponential growth for you: 12 years at 6% growth is 16.87x single year cost. $480M total over 16.87x effective years is 28.45M/yr flat average. Pushing it forward 2 years (since it was signed 2 years ago) means it's 31.96M/yr (I might've screwed it up elsewhere here) or 15.3% average flat cap value.

The fact that it peaks at 20% in a year just means it'll be under in others. Once you get to the later years of the contract it's wacko cheap. By the end of the contract, he's at 13.8% expected cap percentage. With zero carry-forward. Which is nuts.

Don't get me wrong, paying Mahomes 20% in '23 will be tough for the Chiefs but it's not impossible. They've got plenty of other contracts they can push money forward on to make space if they need to. And given how cheap that contract is, oh my God, I wouldn't touch it.

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#27 by mehllageman56 // Jul 21, 2022 - 4:57pm

It is true that this deal (and others like, especially Lamar Jackson's future one) will help Kansas City's championship chances, but the added value of Mahommes' slightly cheaper contract pales in comparison of what Tom Brady did for the last fifteen years.  I might add that the Chiefs sent off one of their star offensive players because of worries about fitting him into the salary cap a few years from now.  If they have that huge a salary cap advantage they are surely not acting like it.

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#36 by nick.hornsby // Jul 21, 2022 - 8:41pm

There's a difference budgeting for a player to get an extension at $20mill/year, and then suddenly his extension would need to be $30mill/year.

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#37 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 9:24pm

The advantage for KC starts a few years from now. These few years are tight due to the slow cap growth : post-23 things get much easier.

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#2 by billprudden // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:03pm

Sir - 

Much agree with your KC / Mahomes point.  It is almost like a NE / Brady-scale discount, and perhaps not by accident.


Edit - (meant for this to be a reply, sorry gang) 

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#3 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:09pm

Hey shoudlve done it before then.

Deserved though. Good player with a more suitable playstyle than any recent MN QB.

Arrived at the same time but I think it's more Kliffs fault for the problems. 

Also think you meant value per play not "vlue"

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#26 by coboney // Jul 21, 2022 - 4:46pm

I mean its also not totally guaranteed unlike Watson's

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#30 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jul 21, 2022 - 5:14pm

Too big of a gap. But it is the 2nd most practically guaranteed and guaranteed at signing behind him too, a few mil more than Rodgers just got in both. Practical guarantees = Staffords (and Daks) entire new extension (contract). 3rd most total value behind Mahomes and Allen. 2nd most AAV behind Rodgers (another exception that was biiiiit too much to bridge so they met just over Watson, who himself just got a little (more) over Mahomes).

An important lesson in getting it done earlier so these ticky tacky things dont have to be "artificially" tacked on. Strong deal but those small things will likely be paid out in the end because I see a long career ahead of him. Getting through that contract length, one way or another (likely another extension).

Only guy left that I can think of is Lamar (whenever he decides hes ready, maybe he was waiting for this?) watch him "randomly" get like $47m AAV, $111m guaranteed at signing and $166m practically guaranteed. Glad they could lock Murray down and give him security. Wasn't much use in haggling to get a little more when it's already life changing money. Hopefully Lamar is able to get his bag. Didn't get quite the first contract Murray did either. Not sure what he (and his mom is the agent"?) are looking for. All reports say the Ravens are (rightfully) willing to pay but Lamar isn't in a rush for some reason. IDK, at that point I feel like a few million isn't gonna change much. You can almost assuredly make it up in endorsements the better/further you get. 

I guess you could add Russ since he's got no guaranteed money left. Although he's likely feeling secure right now after what Denver gave up and they would've done something by now if it were a pressing concern I would think. I predict next year for him when things are less secure (although, yes, still very high of course)!

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#32 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 5:28pm

It's not even remotely close to Watson. Or even Prescott. This keeps Murray under contract through '28. Prescott and Watson will both be on entirely new contracts then. For multiple years each. It only looks big because it's 2 years in the future and, y'know. Exponential growth.

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#47 by andrew // Jul 22, 2022 - 5:44pm

Clearly you're not up to speed on the latest metric, Value Leveraged Under Expectation, or VLUE, which is the new basis of all the other advanced metrics.



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#5 by BigRichie // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:12pm

Any time you're at the bottom of a subjective tier, you're not definitely a member of it.

1), Keim and Kingsbury had no option at all. Either they win a playoff game this year, or they're bye-bye. Even a grumpy Murray who still reports pretty much guarantees them a pink slip by January. They had to do this.

2), even leaving that Principal Agent problem aside, the deal is still ... OK. Kyler has done enough to justify it.

Do think the most likely single outcome is that this blows up on the Cardinals franchise. This time next year a new coach will be putting in a new offense, one likely not tailored entirely to Kyler. Don't know how that'd work, but I do know how I'd wager. Short that sucker with every spare investment dollar on hand.

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#7 by theslothook // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:26pm

I don't think the next GM and coach are going to be people who don't like Kyler or his style. I very much doubt they'd take a job with the incumbent QB slated for years. 

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#8 by BigRichie // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:38pm

But Kliff designed his offense specifically for Kyler. It's extreme. The next coach will change it significantly.

So Kyler will have to learn a new offense, one definitely not unfriendly to him, but still much less Kyler-designed than this one.

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#15 by serutan // Jul 21, 2022 - 2:37pm

If Kliff does his career long (both college and NFL) late season fade again he's gone as that will include a 1st round exit.

Not sure if Keim accompanies him out the door, but wouldn't be surprised.

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#10 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 21, 2022 - 1:45pm

Any time you're at the bottom of a subjective tier, you're not definitely a member of it.

What do you call a doctor who graduates last in his class?


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#20 by dmb // Jul 21, 2022 - 3:32pm

This reply would be much more relevant if OP hasn't specified subjective tiers. Separating a med school class into "graduated" and "not graduated" is pretty objective. "Win because of QB" and "Win with QB" tiers is quite subjective.

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#28 by [Very] Special Teams // Jul 21, 2022 - 5:06pm

Call me jaded, but for last in class at med school I think it's pretty darn similar.  Wins and degrees are objective fact, but the why can be pretty murky whether you're a QB or a student.

Graduated because of student's skills to be an excellent Dr.


Graduated with student's poor skill and great study group and a great deal of luck.

The whole point of FO's research into guts v. stomps is that blowing by a standard is more indicative than barely scraping by.  Not sure why you think that's different in other fields such as med school.  

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#41 by dmb // Jul 22, 2022 - 8:37am

The whole point of FO's research into guts v. stomps is that blowing by a standard is more indicative than barely scraping by. Not sure why you think that's different in other fields such as med school.

I don't, but that's a red herring; it's not at all what I was arguing.

If I understand you correctly, your post could be rephrased as "a subjective assessment of student quality (separating student 'skill' from other factors that may influence their grades) would show that some students are highly likely to become good doctors, while others are likely to barely graduate and are highly unlikely to become good doctors."

That's an extremely defensible statement, but I don't see how that runs counter to the idea that "any time you're at the bottom of a subjective tier, you're not definitely a member of it." If we're talking about subjective 'student skill,' surely there are students towards the bottom of a "high-skill" tier who may have been assessed inaccurately, and are less likely to become good doctors than initially believed. If we're talking solely about whether the student graduated, the tiering is objective and therefore irrelevant to OP's statement.

Points: 0

#24 by kerouac9 // Jul 21, 2022 - 4:15pm

Keim and Kingsbury just inked 5-year extensions in January, my guy. Neither are going anywhere.

The real reason to short Arizona this year is no one should have any urgency to win now and it’s mostly about having fun while Kyler earns Marquise Brown a Christian Kirk-level contract extension.

Points: 0

#35 by BigRichie // Jul 21, 2022 - 7:07pm

If Kingsbury has a stinker year he will be, $$$ or no $$$. Football teams swallow $$$ when the fans (and ownership's country club buddies) get mad enough. Keim will follow the year after.

Points: 0

#13 by Pat // Jul 21, 2022 - 2:19pm

Sigh, I hate the way people report on these things.

This is an extension, meaning it kicks in at '24, so in 2 years. Therefore it is functionally a 7-year contract with a total value of $271M (using Murray's cap number for this year).

It therefore has a true annual value (to compare with other QBs) of $32.29M/yr (or 15.5% cap), obviously way behind Watson/Rodgers's contracts. True annual value meaning you back out the contract length (assuming 6% average cap growth).

To be clear, the most expensive QB contract in the NFL right now is Deshaun Watson, not Rodgers. By quite a bit. Rodgers's looks bigger because it starts later (it was a 3 year extension). Rodgers isn't even quite second, depending on how you count it.

Watson: $40.8M/yr (19.6% cap)
Prescott*: $38.7M/yr (18.6% cap)
Rodgers: $37.89M/yr (18.2% cap)

The "*" there for Prescott is because this is his original flat contract value pushed forward 1 year at 6% (which isn't the actual cap growth from last year to this year, but average growth is more appropriate anyway since that's what I'm using - think of it like I split up the money via exponential growth, that's Prescott's base value this year). Murray's contract looks more like Mahomes/Allen's contracts (but bigger).

Points: 0

#40 by Mike B. In Va // Jul 22, 2022 - 8:20am

I think maybe the story here is not that Kyler may have been overpaid - it doesn't feel that way, but it's arguable - but that the league is in a position where it has enough quality young QBs that we're even having this discussion. Seems like the next few years could see a lot of big-time QB play.

Points: 0

#44 by Pat // Jul 22, 2022 - 11:20am

It just depends what you mean by "overpaid." The 3 major "extended rookie contracts" are Mahomes, Allen, and Murray. By flat cap percentage, Allen's the cheapest of the three, Mahomes in the middle, and Murray's the most expensive. But it's not by much, there's like 2-3% between them.

Then there's just a massive gulf between those guys and Rodgers/Prescott/Watson. Like, a 20% gap. Technically Cousins is there too: a $35M one-year extension is expensive when his previous contract wasn't cheap to begin with. Might seem odd that Brady's not there considering he had a $40M 1-year extension (which is Watson-level money) but he was so cheap initially that it doesn't quite get there when you fold in the extension.

It's just so weird when contracts and extensions are reported as the same thing and people ignore contract length.

Points: 0

#80 by theslothook // Jul 30, 2022 - 3:17pm

Joe Banner disagrees, and suggests most people in the league look at the dollars per the new years in the contract and he finds that Kyler is effectively paid more than Aaron Rodgers or Josh Allen or anyone despite having by far the weakest resume. He says the contract is pretty pro player.

This suggests to me that star QBs lock in long term contracts strictly for insurance purposes and they operate on 4 year time scales precisely because you don't know what the market will look like in 4 years. 

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#81 by Pat // Aug 01, 2022 - 11:32am

Banner's comments are just weird. I don't even know what he's saying about Rodgers - Rodgers only has 3 new years, so he can't average 48.2M, he'll earn $150+M over his three new years. It's like Banner is averaging Rodgers's next three years and Murray's first new three years.

And comparing Watson and Murray's just nuts because their "first three years" happen at different times. Only Joe Banner would consider getting slightly less millions 2 years earlier to not be more valuable, apparently. Let me put it this way. In 2026, Deshaun Watson will have $230M more than he has right now. Kyler Murray will not.

He's right that it's more valuable than Josh Allen, though.

I mean, you can't expect much from a guy who got fired by the Browns.

edit: One reason I don't really buy the arguments from Banner is that when you flat-cap the contract values, all of the rookie extensions lie right on top of each other. These are all contracts where the team already has the player under contract even without a franchise tag possibility, they're not trying to attract the player, and the player has many more years left to play (so they're not going to just walk away - they need the money). The negotiating conditions are all identical, and they all line up dead on.

Watson, Rodgers, and Prescott all had very different negotiating conditions - all of which favored the player more. And those contracts are all worth correspondingly more, and the player who had the biggest leverage (Watson, who was effectively a free agent) got the most. Banner's reasoning just doesn't match up with the way negotiation works.

Points: 0

#51 by theslothook // Jul 26, 2022 - 10:44am

Man, they added a "must watch film or else" clause to his contract.

I'd find that clause pretty insulting if I was Murray. Also, he's young but I hope he realizes that film study is a pretty critical component in the NFL regardless of position but especially true for the QB.

Points: 0

#55 by PatsFan // Jul 26, 2022 - 4:34pm

And the people defending Murray make him look even worse.  Like Ertz saying "Well, Murray knows the offense super well".  Ok, fine, but that's not what film study is about, Zach.

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#64 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jul 28, 2022 - 9:44pm

Perpetuating stereotypes. Great look all around. Oh look Jamarcus was trending because of it. 

OROTY followed by back to back PB without studying. Who cares. Only job where asking you to do 4 hours of work, outside of work, is acceptable. Let people have outside lives and be top 11 when they do work. 

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#56 by Stendhal1 // Jul 26, 2022 - 10:21pm

search kyler murray and call of duty; someone posted an analysis asserting that Kyler’s performance has declined each season at the time when the annual new version of the game is released.  Not sure if true but if it is, I guess there’s an opportunity for improvement!

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#57 by theslothook // Jul 27, 2022 - 10:35am

Apparently, the contract gave examples of what would violate this clause, which used video games.

I am wondering who leaked this. If Arizona did it to light a fire under Murray, they just created a horrible narrative for him. If it was Murray trying to call out Arizona for shady contract language, well, that backfired on him as well.

Points: 0

#61 by Pat // Jul 28, 2022 - 1:04pm

I know who it wasn't: Murray's agent. Because it looks terrible for him. It's not even that good a contract in terms of total value and there's a clause that can blow the whole thing up that's so poorly worded it's insane.

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#60 by Pat // Jul 28, 2022 - 12:59pm

someone posted an analysis asserting that Kyler’s performance has declined each season at the time when the annual new version of the game is released. 

No, they really didn't. I mean, yes, someone did post that "analysis" but it's not really an analysis. Every quarterback's performance declines over the season (at least, on average). All they did was just put a line as to where Call of Duty came out and fit straight lines, but there was no attempt to try to show that that date has any significance. And if you just take the average QB's performance over the year historically it'll show a decline as well (with Russell Wilson being the most insane one).

The game comes out roughly the same time each year (late October/early November) so there's not even any real ability to tell.

Points: 0

#65 by Stendhal1 // Jul 28, 2022 - 9:48pm

I said I wasn’t sure if it was true, and you’ve pointed out a valid reason for skepticism!

On newer developments, Murray’s touchiness on the topic today isn’t the right move.  He could turn this into a positive.  “They asked for the study clause contract rider, kudos to them because any smart management investing hundreds of millions in a star quarterback should want the player to do well.  Because I’m committed as I always have been to improvement and my craft, I had no problem with it.  The proof is, I signed the contract with the rider.”

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#67 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jul 28, 2022 - 10:48pm

I don't like this. If it were true, everyone would come the conclusion of your spin of

Because I’m committed as I always have been to improvement and my craft, I had no problem with it.  The proof is, I signed the contract with the rider.

But we know they didn't. It's not gonna change anything, and I don't like blaming the player for having outside interests being labeled essentially as character flaws. Nasty road to go down when players like him have historically been discriminated especially. 

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#71 by ImNewAroundThe… // Jul 29, 2022 - 8:27am

And yet still called it the wrong move?

Turn down life changing money because of a clause or deal with this aftermath. What a lose lose scenario for a guy that already openly gets made fun of for something he can't change despite breaking the barrier.

Points: 0

#72 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 29, 2022 - 9:04am

What barrier did he break?

Wilson already filled the category of 'short mobile baseball-playing QB who changed teams in college'

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#75 by Pat // Jul 29, 2022 - 12:46pm


On newer developments, Murray’s touchiness on the topic today isn’t the right move. He could turn this into a positive. 

That's mostly what he said. His comments were basically railing against the media backlash. He kindof flipped it around as "you seriously think I could do this game without preparation?" but it's pretty much the same thing.

However I think his touchiness was mostly with his agent: as has been pointed out, no one else has that clause and it's a terribly written clause. So if I had to guess he's probably been on the phone with his agent a bunch being like "seriously, WTF, they're telling me no one's ever had a clause like this and it could void the entire thing?"

Points: 0

#76 by theslothook // Jul 29, 2022 - 5:53pm

Two Points.

First, the line "you seriously think I could do this game without preparation?" would be much more believable if it didn't run entirely counter to his earlier statements about being so gifted that he didn't need film preparation. Maybe he's using a broader definition of "preparation", but between those words and the contract, I fully believe his preparation didn't involve much film study above and beyond what was required while in the building. 

Second, I find it hard to believe his agent either missed this clause or decided not to bring it up with Murray or sufficiently highlight it. Its borderline malfeasance to not do so. 

As best as I can discern, I think the leak came from the Cardinals with the hope that some public shaming would add further motivation to Murray, because clearly the contract language implies the coaching staff is not able to convince him.

However, they underestimated just how big this story blew up into, something that would have remained a distraction every single week as reporters would have questioned at every press conference if Murray had completed his 4 hour homework assignment.

As I wrote above, I find the clause silly even under their stated objective because you can't bribe or cajole professional athletes to go the extra mile if they don't want to. 


Points: 0

#77 by KnotMe // Jul 29, 2022 - 6:24pm

I actually wonder if the clause was some actually some sort of sneaky cap maneuver that they pulled when it drew to much attention. 

In theory, it allowed them void the contract at any time, in practice, the the players union would fight it so it would never work(they would have to prove he didn't do would be a total PITA to enforce and track).. So it would pretty much only ever happen if Murray actually agreed not to fight it. I wonder if they were thinking they could do something weird like push a bunch of money into the future, void the contract and then just sign him to a new one immediately. 

I wonder if there is some odd sneaky use of basically having way of voiding the contract that in practice could only be used with the players consent. In theory Murray could skip his homework and become a FA any time he wanted to also. 

Points: 0

#79 by Pat // Jul 30, 2022 - 10:05am

I don't think there's any benefit. Teams have to exercise default clauses (Murray couldn't just be like "didn't do my HW, outta here suckas!") and if the player's complicit they can change guarantees (to allow for a trade,for instance). Not much incentive too, though.

Personally I think the Cardinals were trying to introduce something generic into contracts (not Murray-specific), the agent said yeah, OK, and convinced Murray it was totally normal and didn't really mean anything.

Then it gets out, people are like "woah what's this" and people note that it's a default condition, and Murray freaks out (justifiably).

Points: 0

#78 by Pat // Jul 29, 2022 - 10:35pm

I'm pretty positive the agent just told Murray that clauses like this were standard and in lots of contracts.

Apparently the scuttlebutt is that Murray is considering firing him so that would make sense.

Points: 0

#68 by theslothook // Jul 28, 2022 - 11:00pm

The Cardinals pulling that clause now makes it even more confusing. Someone leaked this. Surely, if its the Cards, they had to expect that, during a quiet news cycle, it would create a firestorm. Maybe I am giving them too much credit and they thought this would lead to so some soft chiddings.

I need to ammend my earlier comment about Kyler.

Maybe Murray's side did this and it worked as intended. But it now gives everyone a talking point when Murray inevitably struggles as every QB in history, including the games absolute best, do.

I will add...people are painting this as a Murray specific issue; whereas I think this happens far more than anyone cares to admit. Big Ben,  a likely hall of famer, has openly admitted he didn't study much. Mike Vick did the same thing. We know about Manning and Brady's legendary film study probably because people were digging for that specific information.

Is film study important. Of course. Is additional film study the way Manning, Brady, and others have done it important? Probably but here I think it comes with qualifiers.

As Ron Jaworksi said once. Joey Harrington was a major film rat, but he didn't have the ability to take what he saw on film and apply it in real time because real time implies crazy chaos. For some, the payoff isn't felt because they don't have that innate ability. And perhaps someone like Murray is better served spending his off time doing things that keep him refreshed. Not everyone succeeds in the same way.

I will further my experience...mandating someone do something or else is unlikely to have the desired effect. If it were as simple as shoveling snow from a driveway, then that's one thing. But I suspect their goal was to instill a habit of studying the film and applying it in game. That's something that takes a lot more than 4 hours of forced time to accomplish. It takes a desire to study the film and a desire and want to apply it and do so despite not seeing real progress for a long period of time.

Points: 0

#69 by Spanosian Magn… // Jul 29, 2022 - 3:16am

I understand why you didn't link it so I won't either, but I'm pretty sure the guy who made those charts was being a little tongue-in-cheek. But then some credulous dopes took it seriously and RT'd all over the place, and it ended up in a Washington Post article. The wonders of the internet age.

Every quarterback's performance declines over the season (at least, on average)

This was my first thought when I saw the Murray-CoD "plots", but I couldn't really find much to substantiate it. Do you happen to know of a study or something I could look at? The only thing I could really find was this, which 1) is still a bit shallow and 2) seems to be missing the actual figures.

Points: 0

#73 by KnotMe // Jul 29, 2022 - 9:56am

I dunno if anyone look, (it is a pain), but I wonder if the chart was just a result of the teams he tended to play at those times. It's a pretty small sample size anyway. Drawing one good defence team at the right time could do it.  

Points: 0

#74 by Pat // Jul 29, 2022 - 12:40pm

Do you happen to know of a study or something I could look at?

Honestly, that's a good question - it's been a given for so long that passing declines over a season. It's been mentioned here a bunch. I've also done it myself just using NFL passer rating for a few years - the significance gets pretty overwhelmingly strong once you add more and more QBs. But I don't know of any individual study specifically focused on it.

I've mentioned this in articles on Russell Wilson because for some weird reason in the past like, 5 years, his passing has declined ludicrously obviously over the year. The R^2 on the correlation was like, 0.5 or something, it was crazy. I swear when he actually came back and had a strong end to the year I felt like he was specifically doing it to make a point or something.

edit: I should also point out that it's entirely possible that it's just a temperature correlation and temperature declines on average over the season. There's a lot more studies out there regarding weather effects on passing because of the whole degenerate gambler thing.

Points: 0

#82 by Spanosian Magn… // Aug 03, 2022 - 11:22pm

Sorry I'm late and you probably won't ever see this, but I really appreciate the response! The temperature point is very interesting. Maybe looking only at games in domes, aggregated over a long enough time to get a sufficient sample, might at least shed light on the extent of temperature/weather influence vs. everything else.

Points: 0

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