The time is almost upon us. When that first ball is kicked at the start of the Los Angeles Rams' opener against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, we will be on our way to yet another enthralling season of NFL action.

And there are few better reasons to get excited at the beginning of a new campaign than the promise of a good old redemption story.

These tales may not necessarily revolve around someone who has suffered a fall from grace, though; in some cases, it might just be someone who has taken a smidge longer than expected to blossom.

So, before the thunder and lightning of a new NFL season, Stats Perform has taken a look at five men who could have a touch more motivation to show everything they have to offer in 2022.

Baker Mayfield – Carolina Panthers

Mayfield perhaps leaps out as the most obvious choice.

Big things were expected of the quarterback when he was the number one pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, charged with leading a flailing 0-16 Cleveland Browns.

There were moments of promise in his four years in Cleveland, throwing 27 touchdowns in 14 games in his first season, and in 2020 he played a big part in getting the Browns to the playoffs, unthinkable when he came through the door.

However, in 2021, Mayfield threw just 18 TD passes, the worst season of his career, as a Browns team who were starting to feel like they had outgrown him finished 8-9.

Of quarterbacks to have more than 300 passing attempts, only Sam Darnold (59.9), Trevor Lawrence (59.6) and Zach Wilson (55.6) had a lower pass completion percentage than his 60.5.

After a lot of uncertainty, he finally found a new home after being traded to the Panthers, who are in desperate need of a quality QB after the Darnold experiment failed last year.

It is a risk for both parties, and both need it to work, but you could also argue it could not get much worse for either.

Gabe Davis – Buffalo Bills

There had not been any immediately obvious signs that Davis was going to be a breakout star for the Bills for most of his first two seasons.

Seven TDs in his rookie year – and none in the playoffs from only four catches – were followed by just six in the 2021 regular season.

However, thanks to his explosive performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in last season's playoffs, plenty are excited about what could come from Davis and the much-fancied Bills in 2022.

His four TDs and 201 yards from eight receptions – for an average of 25.1 yards – were still not enough as the Chiefs ultimately won the AFC Divisional Round encounter in overtime, but Davis emerged as a potential new star.

By the end of the campaign, no player had recorded over 1,000 burn yards – yards in situations where a receiver 'wins' his matchup against a defender – from fewer receptions (45) than Davis.

But was this a one-off, or can Davis do it all over again? We will soon find out.

Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars

Lawrence could end up being a very similar story to Mayfield. He was also the number one pick for a team with little else going for it.

In his rookie year, Lawrence threw for 12 TDs, but his poor pass completion percentage was set out above.

He remained a busy man regardless, with only six QBs making more than his 602 pass attempts, but the Jaguars could only manage three wins, two more than in 2020.

Whether it was sloppy throwing or feeling the need to take risks with little assistance, Lawrence threw 26 pickable passes, with only four QBs who made over 300 pass attempts seeing a worse pickable pass percentage than his 4.59 per cent (Jimmy Garoppolo – 4.82, Taylor Heinicke – 5.04, Zach Wilson – 5.21, Davis Mills – 5.56).

There is undoubted talent there, hence the hype when he was picked up by Jacksonville in 2021, and it is surely just a case of Lawrence having more help and getting more experience. We will perhaps see this season.

Matthew Stafford – LA Rams

Yes, it's another quarterback, but with a twist. This one just won the Super Bowl, after all.

It may seem strange given the ring he has on his finger, but the situation with Stafford's elbow means he must prove himself all over again.

In terms of numbers, the Rams QB has now established himself among the elite. Stafford ranks in the top 12 all-time in completions (11th, 4,302), passing yards (12th, 49,995), passing yards per game (sixth, 274.7), touchdown passes (12th, 323) and game-winning drives (seventh, 42).

Crucially, he led the team to Super Bowl success last year, too.

But the Rams' hopes of a repeat are pinned on Stafford being fit enough to perform all year long, and there are some worrying noises around an elbow issue heading into the year.

Should Stafford shake off those concerns and combine with Cooper Kupp for another outstanding season – and perhaps another ring – nobody could possibly doubt his legacy.

Kliff Kingsbury – Arizona Cardinals

It is not just players who have something to prove, but coaches, too – and you could argue Kingsbury does more than most.

While undoubtedly a talented coach, Kingsbury is building a reputation as someone who comes up with effective plays to start a season but is less able to adjust to keep ahead of the competition once they figure it out.

After winning their first seven games, the Cardinals raced out to a sensational 10-2 start last season, well ahead of projected results, only to stumble to 11-6 after losing four of their last five in the regular season, before being humbled 34-11 by the Rams in their first postseason game.

The excellent start cannot be ignored, but neither can the fact that it made nine seasons in a row in which a team led by Kingsbury have had a worse second half of the season than the first.

Despite being without DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games due to suspension, Kingsbury has an exciting team in Arizona and it would be no surprise to see them start strongly again.

They just need to figure out a way to maintain it this time.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is set to miss a minimum of five days of his side's training camp after testing positive to COVID-19.

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury confirmed the news on Monday, revealing Murray's symptoms were "minor".

The Arizona quarterback, who had missed practice on Saturday due to a sore wrist, is the only Cardinals player to test positive currently.

The news comes in light of a busy few weeks for Murray, who agreed terms on a bumper five-year extension with the Cardinals last month. The deal made Murray the NFL's second-highest paid player in terms of average annual salary.

Murray stayed in the spotlight after an "independent study" clause was inserted into the contract, mandating four hours of study each game week, which was later removed.

Murray, a former standout baseball player at Oklahoma as well who was taken ninth overall in the 2018 MLB draft, led the Cardinals to their first playoff appearance in six years with an 11-6 finish to the 2021 season.

The 24-year-old began last season as an MVP candidate as Arizona got off to a 7-0 start, with Murray producing a 116.8 passer rating with a 73.5 per cent completion rate and 17 touchdown passes during that stretch.

However, his play dropped off over the season's second half, as Arizona went 2-5 over his next seven starts, and he struggled with a no-touchdown, two-interception performance in the Cardinals' 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Arizona Cardinals are one of the most curious teams in the NFL. Defined in recent seasons by first-half surges followed by stretch-run slumps, a series of bemusing offseason roster moves have left many wondering as to the nature of the Cardinals'' plan of attack in an extremely difficult NFC West. What was always likely, however, was that plan including Kyler Murray.

Despite negotiations over an extension at times appearing tumultuous, a scenario in which Murray was not a part of the Cardinals' future always seemed far-fetched.

So it proved last week when the Cardinals signed Murray to a five-year, $230.5 million extension, which sees him become the second-highest paid quarterback in the league with an average annual salary of $46.1 million.

Murray trails only Aaron Rodgers ($50.2 million) in that regard and becomes the latest quarterback to surpass $40 million a year in salary.

The Cardinals are in part paying for what they believe Murray can do in the future, now having seen him produce three seasons of play suggesting he has a chance to become one of the finest dual-threat quarterback in league history and lead Arizona to a long-awaited Super Bowl title.

But do his performances to this point, which have yet to deliver a playoff win, make him worthy of receiving more per year than all but the back-to-back defending MVP?

It is a question that grew more pointed with the news of an eyebrow-raising clause in Murray's contract requiring him to complete at least four hours of "independent study" of material provided to him to prepare for a game. After the PR nightmare it caused, that clause was subsequently removed.

Still, that stipulation suggests Murray is not preparing at the level expected of a player receiving his salary. It's difficult for anyone outside the Cardinals' organisation to know if that is the case, but Stats Perform has analysed the data from his three seasons in the NFL to see how his on-field performance compares to that of his contemporaries in the $40m club.

Playing catch-up in basic metrics

Seven other quarterbacks have recently signed contracts paying an average of at least $40m: Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford.

Oversimplifying things, the first difference that stands out between Murray and this group is that all but one of the remaining quarterbacks on the list have won a playoff game – Derek Carr being the exception.

But a host of factors – including situation, injuries, and luck – go into determining such achievements. Wins are not a quarterback stat, but Murray is also in the bottom half of this group in most of the classic stats for players at the most important position.

Since entering the NFL as the first overall pick in 2019, Murray has racked up 11,480 passing yards. That tally puts him fifth among the $40m club, with Mahomes, Carr, Rodgers and Allen the four quarterbacks to have amassed more in that period.

His completion percentage of 66.9 in that time also puts him fifth for that group of players, and he occupies the same spot in explosive passing plays of 25 yards or more (89).

Murray's 70 passing touchdowns are fewer than all the $40m quarterbacks other than Watson, who missed the entirety of last season. Allen (7.17) is the only one to have averaged fewer yards per attempt than Murray;s 7.26 and Stafford (2.3) is the sole quarterback of the group with an interception rate inferior to the Cardinals signal-caller's 2.2 per cent.

However, the days when such stats were the primary barometer by which quarterback performance was measured are gone, and Murray fares significantly better in metrics that gauge accuracy and efficiency.

Delivering deep, and when it matters

Murray made strides in delivering the ball accurately in 2021, as his performance in well-thrown rate illustrates. In 2020, Murray delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 76 per cent of his passes, below the average of 78 for quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts. Last season, his well-thrown rate improved to 78.5 per cent, though that still trailed Carr, Mahomes and Prescott.

Yet offense in the modern NFL is largely about generating explosive plays, and Murray thrives in an area that plays a critical role in a team's success in doing so – deep accuracy.

The ability to throw downfield with pinpoint accuracy has long since been one of Murray's calling cards, and last season his 62.5 well-thrown percentage on throws of 20 air yards or more was tied for seventh among quarterbacks with 20 such throws. He was tied with both Mahomes and Prescott and above every other quarterback in the $40m club.

Explosive plays create efficiency, and the statistical impact of Murray's deep-ball precision emphasises that point.

Of the NFL's highest-paid quarterbacks, only Carr and Stafford averaged more 20-yard passes per game than Murray (3.5) in 2021, while no quarterback in the NFL was more efficient in expected passing situations.

Murray ranked first in quarterback efficiency vs. expected. In expected passing situations, he averaged over a yard above expectation. No other quarterback in the league achieved that feat, with Rodgers (0.974) his nearest challenger:

That unmatched efficiency in the most important situations in an NFL game is worth the outlay the Cardinals have committed to Murray, and that's before his running ability is even considered.

A skill set still to be properly harnessed

Murray's dual-threat upside was a critical factor in his selection with the top overall pick three years ago. His is a skill set that meshes perfectly with the direction of modern NFL offenses, and his speed and elusiveness as a ball carrier in the open field has unsurprisingly translated to the highest level.

Since 2019, Lamar Jackson (6.36) is the sole player in the NFL to average more yards per carry than Murray's 5.69. No other quarterback earning $40m-plus per year averaged 5.5 yards per rush in that time, with Mahomes (5.30) and Allen (5.09) coming closest.

Allen (23) has scored more rushing touchdowns than Murray (20) over the last three seasons, and only Jackson has produced more explosive rushes of 20 yards or more across the same timeframe – the Baltimore Ravens superstar racking up 26 such runs compared to 15 for Murray.

That discrepancy is in part down to injury problems that forced Murray to miss three games last season and clearly affected him down the stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Durability is undoubtedly a concern that arguably makes handing such a contract to Murray a risk, while there is also a case to be made he is overly reliant on All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. With Hopkins in the lineup last season, the Cardinals racked up 7.81 yards per pass play. In the seven games he missed, they averaged 5.86.

Yet those struggles were as much about head coach Kliff Kingsbury's use of personnel as they were about Murray. Kingsbury insisted on using Hopkins almost exclusively as an outside receiver – where he played 475 of his 537 snaps in 2021 – and the Cardinals had nobody to fill the void on downfield routes from that spot when he was injured. Arizona averaged 6.84 air yards per completion with Hopkins and just 4.35 when he was sidelined.

While the bizarre clause that was in Murray's contract indicates he needs to do more during the week to realise his potential, Kingsbury must also make significant improvements.

Arizona's offense has been too focused around Hopkins and Murray's success in improvisation – as their league-leading 1.72 yards over expected on runs in expected passing situations points to – and the onus is on Kingsbury to develop a more diverse gameplan to make the most of the incredible quarterback talent he has at his disposal.

Murray's resume may not yet compare to several of the highly paid contemporaries whose salaries he has now surpassed. However, he is a quarterback who has improved year on year in more rudimentary metrics such as completion percentage, touchdown percentage and passing yards per game, with his increased accuracy and deep-ball prowess that only Mahomes and Prescott can match helping Murray become the league's most efficient quarterback in high-pressure obvious passing situations.

The baseball prospect turned football star confounds defenses by excelling when they know what to expect and delivering the unexpected with remarkable consistency.

Few players can replicate his ability to do both with such regularity. If properly harnessed by the Cardinals, Murray has the chance to reach a ceiling at the very top of the NFL and individually compare much more favourably with a group of quarterbacks who in some cases have already enjoyed the success to which he aspires.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes addressed the infamous "study clause" in Kyler Murray's contract on Friday, saying it is "weird" how black quarterbacks are criticised in the NFL. 

Murray made headlines earlier this week when it was revealed his five-year, $230.5million contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals contained a clause requiring him to independently watch at least four hours of game film per week during the season. 

After the report surfaced, Murray made an impassioned defense of his work ethic, and the Cardinals announced on Thursday that the addendum was removed from his contract. 

"Obviously, the black quarterback has had to battle to be in this position that we are to have this many guys in the league playing," Mahomes said after a camp practice.

"Every day, we're proving that we should have been playing the whole time. 

"We've got guys that can think just as well as they can use their athleticism. It's always weird when you see guys like me, Lamar [Jackson], Kyler kind of get that on them when other guys don't.

"But at the same time, we're going out there to prove ourselves every day to show we can be some of the best quarterbacks in the league."

However, Mahomes noted all NFL quarterbacks feel pressure to prove their worth.

"You always feel like you have more to prove," he said. "I promise Tom Brady is feeling like he has more to prove.

"That comes with any sport, any competitor. If you're not getting better, you're getting worse. They build you up to tear you down. You've got to kind of know that. 

"For me, it's all about how I can make myself better, not what other people say. How can I make myself better so that we go out there and play football games?

"At the end of the day, nothing matters until you're on that football field playing, and that's where you get to prove who you are every single day."

The Arizona Cardinals have removed a controversial "independent study" clause from Kyler Murray's new contract after the quarterback gave an impassioned response to questions about his preparation and work ethic. reported the addendum to the five-year, $230.5million extension earlier this week.

The clause stipulated that the two-time Pro Bowler must watch a minimum of four hours of game film on his own every week during the season over the life of the deal, and the Cardinals could void the contract if Murray did not meet the terms of the agreement.

"After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract," the Cardinals have now said in a statement. "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 public revelation of the clause prompted the usually reserved Murray to call an unscheduled press conference on Thursday in which the 2019 number one overall pick lashed out against suggestions he was not properly preparing for his duties.

"I refuse to let my work ethic, my preparation be in question," Murray stated. "I've put in incomprehensible amount of time and blood, sweat and tears and work into what I do.

"To those of you out there who believe that I'd be standing here today in front of you all without having a work ethic and without preparing – I'm honoured that you think that, but it doesn't exist. It's not possible.

"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 that passion, not take this seriously is almost... it's disrespectful and it's almost a joke."

Murray agreed to the extension, which will make him the NFL's second-highest-paid player in terms of average annual salary behind only two-time reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers, last week. The contract contains $160m in guarantees and will run from 2024 through 2028. 

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner is coming off his best season in which he finished second in the NFL in completion percentage (69.2) and posted a career-high 100.6 passer rating while helping the Cardinals reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Murray's play dropped off during the second half of the year, however, and he also struggled with a no-touchdown, two-interception performance in the Cardinals' 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the opening round of the playoffs. 

Arizona began last season 7-0 but lost five of the 24-year-old's next seven starts, with Murray producing an 86.5 passer rating during that stretch after recording a 116.8 rating over the first seven games.

With his work ethic and preparation methods recently called into question, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray called an impromptu press conference on Thursday to answer his critics. 

The former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time Pro Bowl honoree bristled at the suggestion he could achieve what he has in both his college and professional career without taking his job seriously.

Murray delivered a sharp response to the recent criticism he has received after a report this week stated his new $230million contract contained a clause that mandated four hours of independent film study per week during the season.  

"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 that passion, not take this seriously, is almost – it's disrespectful and it's almost a joke," Murray said.

"I'm honestly flattered that you all think at my size I can go out there and not prepare for the game," the 5-foot-10, 207-pound quarterback said. "This game's too hard. To play the position that I play in this league, it's too hard. 

"I'm not 6-7, 230 [pounds]. I don't throw the ball 85 yards. I'm already behind the eight-ball and I can't afford to take any shortcuts, no pun intended."

According to, Murray can be found to be in breach of his new deal should he not fulfil the obligations of the "independent study" addendum.

The 2019 No. 1 overall pick last week agreed to the five-year extension, which will make him the NFL's second-highest paid player in terms of average annual salary.

Murray did not directly answer questions about specific parts of the contract, though he did make a statement about his film study habits. 

"There's multiple ways to watch film," he said. "There's many different ways to process that game; there's many different ways quarterbacks learn the game and break the game down.

"Of course, I watch film by myself. That's a given. That doesn't even need to be said. But I do enjoy and love the process of watching the game with my guys, the quarterbacks, the coaches.  

"I refuse to let my work ethic, my preparation, be in question. I've put in incomprehensible amount of time and blood, sweat and tears and work into what I do.

"To those of you out there who believe that I'd be standing here today in front of you all without having a work ethic and without preparing, I'm honoured that you think that, but it doesn't exist. It's not possible.” 

Murray, a former standout baseball player at Oklahoma as well who was taken ninth overall in the 2018 MLB draft, led the Cardinals to their first playoff appearance in six years with an 11-6 finish to the 2021 season. 

The 24-year-old began last season as an MVP candidate as Arizona got off to a 7-0 start, with Murray producing a 116.8 passer rating with a 73.5 per cent completion rate and 17 touchdown passes during that stretch. 

However, his play dropped off over the season's second half. Murray's passer rating dipped to 86.5 as Arizona went 2-5 over his next seven starts, and he struggled with a no-touchdown, two-interception performance in the Cardinals' 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the opening round of the playoffs. 

Kyler Murray had no desire to continue his NFL career anywhere other than with the Arizona Cardinals, the quarterback said after signing a five-year, $230.5million contract extension.

Murray and the Cardinals finally reached agreement on a deal that contains $160m guaranteed on Thursday, rewarding him for three seasons of largely stellar play and Arizona's first playoff appearance since 2015 last season.

Negotiations between the two franchises had not always appeared to be harmonious, particularly in late February when Murray and his agent Erik Burkhardt released a statement seemingly urging the Cardinals to prioritise signing the former to a long-term deal rather than simply talking about it.

But, with the saga behind them, Murray is now fully focused on his ultimate goal in the NFL.

"My job is to fulfill my promise and bring a championship here. There's no question about it," Murray said.

"There's no other place that I wanted to be this whole time. And I mean that."

Murray prompted a heated reaction on social media when he deleted all photos relating to the Cardinals from his Instagram account following his appearance in the Pro Bowl.

"All the social media stuff and all that, that's going to happen regardless," Murray added. "Play good, they love you. Play bad, they hate you.

"It is what it is. That's just this day and age. You've got to have tough skin. So, I've grown up in it. So, it's nothing new."

Before being selected as the first overall pick by Arizona in 2019, Murray was picked ninth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics and signed a contract with the A's.

Asked if this extension ends any prospect of Murray eventually switching to baseball, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim interjected and could not resist a dig at the A's, who have parted with a host of their stars in recent times and have the second-lowest payroll in MLB at $48.5m.

"Did you guys see the payroll of the Oakland A's versus this contract?" Keim replied. "Enough said."

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

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury says he is "praying" quarterback Kyler Murray will have signed his new contract before training camp begins next month.

Earlier in the offseason, Murray removed references to the Cardinals on his Instagram account before his agent Erik Burkhardt issued a statement calling for the QB, who is entering his fourth NFL campaign, to be shown "a real commitment" by the franchise.

There have been reports suggesting Murray will not attend training camp under his current deal, which runs through the 2023 season, as he seeks a lucrative extension.

Kingsbury was asked about his QB's contract status when he faced reporters after the first day of Arizona's minicamp, which Murray has reported for.

"I'm praying before training camp," Kingsbury said about when the contract could be resolved.

"I just want him there day one of training camp. Personally - I'm being selfish here – I would love for him to be there the first day.

"I'm not sure [if he will report to training camp without a new deal] - that would be a Kyler question."

"We're about to make him, I'm sure, the highest-paid player in this franchise's history and so he understands what comes with that," added Kingsbury, per ESPN.

"The guys know what he can be at his best, and anytime we can get the whole band out there, things pick up.

"He is the leader of this franchise. [General Manager] Steve [Keim], Michael [Bidwill], myself, we understand what he can be and where we want to take this thing with him as our leader. 

"It will be great for this organisation when this is wrapped up."

In the 2021 season, Murray threw for 3,787 yards with 24 touchdown passes and added five rushing TDs, while he had the second-highest pass completion rate in the NFL of 69.2 per cent.

Murray was the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and an 11-6 record last season was the Cardinals' best for six years.

They lost to divisional rivals the Los Angeles Rams, who went on to win the Super Bowl, in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney has died after being involved in a car accident in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Dallas County Sheriff's Office announced that at 2:28am, first-responders attended a scene where two cars collided.

One other person died in the crash. The second victim has not been identified as the incident remains under investigation.

The Cardinals confirmed Gladney's death in a brief statement.

"We are devastated to learn of Jeff Gladney's passing. Our hearts go out to his family, friends and all who are mourning this tremendous loss," the statement read.

Gladney, 25, was a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings after a glittering college career at TCU, where he became close friends with Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor.

Responding to the news, Reagor tweeted out: "Lost my brother, my best friend, my right hand man… ain't too much more I can take man damn! R.I.P Jeff Gladney, brother watch over me please."

J.J. Watt was one of several of Gladney's Cardinals teammates to also pay their respects, saying: "Horrifying news to hear this morning. Just tragic. Rest in peace Jeff."

Gladney's former team, the Vikings, also offered their condolences.

"We are saddened by the tragic death of former Viking Jeff Gladney," the franchise said. "Our hearts go out to his family and friends, as well as the Arizona Cardinals organisation and Jeff’s current and former teammates and coaches who are mourning his life lost much too soon."

Larry Fitzgerald does not believe DeAndre Hopkins' PED suspension will have any impact on his long-term legacy.

All-Pro wide receiver Hopkins was this month suspended for the first six games of the 2022 campaign for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The news served as a substantial blow to the Arizona Cardinals and their hopes of success in the coming season.

But Cardinals legend and former team-mate Fitzgerald rejected talk of the ban tarnishing Hopkins' reputation.

"I don't think so," Fitzgerald said when asked by TMZ if he thought the suspension would taint Hopkins' legacy.

"He'll still be a Hall of Famer. He's talented. He'll work through it.

"It's just some adversity and, you know, he's a tough guy, resourceful, and he'll work his way through it."

The Cardinals may have a tougher time working their way through his 2022 absence.

With Hopkins on the field last year in the regular season, they went 8-2, averaging 30.2 points per game. In the seven games he missed through injury, the Cardinals were 3-4, scoring 21 points per game.

They start their 2022 campaign with an extremely difficult assignment, hosting a Kansas City Chiefs team that has reached the AFC Championship Game in each of the last four seasons.

The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers will contest the NFL's first game in Mexico City since 2019.

Estadio Azteca hosted a game every year from 2016 to 2019, save for the 2018 season when the Rams' clash with the Kansas City Chiefs was moved back to Los Angeles because of poor field conditions.

But the coronavirus pandemic meant there were no International Series games in 2020, with Mexico City left off the schedule for 2021.

It was confirmed in February that the Cardinals would host a game in Mexico City and it was announced on Wednesday that they will face their NFC West rivals on November 21.

Both the Cardinals and the Niners made the playoffs in 2021, Arizona losing in the Wild Card round to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Rams and San Francisco beaten by the same opposition in the NFC Championship Game.

The Cardinals and the Niners met in the first NFL game to be played in Mexico back in 2005, with Arizona claiming a 31-14 victory.

The Green Bay Packers' first regular-season game outside of the United States will see them face the New York Giants.

It was confirmed in February that reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers and Co. would play in London for the first time.

That game will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 9, with the Packers taking on a historic NFC foe in Week 5.

The Giants won the inaugural London game at Wembley in 2007, defeating the Miami Dolphins, and beat the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham in 2016.

Tottenham will also play host to a clash between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints on October 2.

Both the Vikings and Saints have played and won twice in London, New Orleans shutting out the Miami Dolphins on their last appearance in 2017.

The sole Wembley game will see new Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson face Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars at England's national stadium on October 30.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is to be suspended for six games by the NFL for violation of the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, according to reports.

The 29-year-old required MCL surgery after suffering a knee injury in December's 30-23 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams, missing the remainder of the 2021 campaign, including the Wild Card playoff loss to the Rams.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Cardinals will be without Hopkins for the opening six games of the season due to his suspension, which is final after he withdrew his appeal.

The Cardinals traded on draft day for another wide receiver, Marquise Brown, having lost Christian Kirk after the 25-year-old signed a $72million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the 10 games he did play in last season, Hopkins – a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection – managed 42 receptions for a total of 572 yards, with eight touchdowns to his name.

In the 2020 season, his first with Arizona after being traded by the Houston Texans, he recorded 1,407 yards from 115 receptions, and six TDs.

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