NFL

Cardinals lock up QB Murray through to 2028 with $230.5m extension

By Sports Desk July 21, 2022

The Arizona Cardinals have agreed to terms with quarterback Kyler Murray on a multi-year extension that will reportedly make him among the NFL's highest-paid players.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but ESPN reports the deal to be a five-year, $230.5million pact with $160m guaranteed, that will run through the 2028 season.

Murray, the No.1 overall pick of the 2019 draft and the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year that season, has two years remaining on his original contract.

The deal is slightly higher than the five-year, $230m extension the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson in March, though Watson's contract is fully guaranteed.

Murray's $46.1m annual average salary over the duration of the extension is the second highest in the NFL, behind only two-time reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers' $50.3m.

Arizona also avoid a potential distraction involving their quarterback's future entering training camp.

ESPN reported in February that Murray was frustrated over a lack of progress in extension talks and the criticism he received following the team's playoff loss to the eventual champions Los Angeles Rams.

Murray did not attend voluntary offseason workouts but did take part in the Cardinals' mandatory minicamp last month.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner has started all but two of Arizona's games since entering the NFL and has helped the Cardinals increase their win total in each of his three seasons, capped by an 11-6 finish in 2021 and the franchise's first playoff appearance in six years.

Murray began last season as an early MVP candidate after leading the Cardinals to a 7-0 start, though his and the team's play dropped off in the second half with a nagging ankle injury a factor in his struggles.

The 24-year-old produced a 116.8 passer rating with a 73.5 per cent completion percentage and 17 touchdown passes during the seven-game winning streak.

Murray's rating dipped to 86.5 as Arizona went 2-5 in his next seven starts, and he threw just seven touchdown passes over that span with a significantly lower completion rate of 65.5 per cent.

Murray's rough stretch continued into the postseason as he completed just 19 of 34 passes for 137 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in the Cardinals' 34-11 opening-round loss to the Rams.

The former University of Oklahoma star still earned a second consecutive Pro Bowl nod after finishing second in the NFL in completion percentage (69.2 per cent) and posting a career-high 100.6 passer rating

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