Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals coach, ‘prays’ for Kyler Murray contract resolution by the start of training camp
Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals coach, wants to resolve quarterback Kyler Murray’s contract situation before the team reunites for training camp in late January.
Kingsbury stated Tuesday, after the first day at Arizona’s minicamp, “I’m praying prior to training camp,”
Kingsbury raised doubts about Murray’s reporting on Tuesday’s practice if he doesn’t get an extension or new deal.
Kingsbury stated that Murray showed up at camp without a contract. “That would be a Kyler question. However, I would personally love him to be there on the first day.
After his fifth-year option was purchased for 2023, Murray will be earning $5.5 million this season. He will also earn $29.7 million next. Murray is seeking a contract that is comparable to the deals of top-tier quarterbacks like the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen, the Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, and the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen.
Kingsbury anticipates that the franchise record will be set once the deal is done. Kingsbury stated Tuesday that Murray is the franchise’s “leader,” something he has said since Murray was drafted.
Kingsbury stated, “We’re about making him, I’m certain, the highest-paid player this franchise’s history, and so he knows what that means.” “The guys know what he is capable of, and whenever we can get the entire band out there, things pick-up.”
Veteran center Rodney Hudson was the only player who did not attend Tuesday’s mandatory practice.
Kingsbury said Hudson’s absence was not justified, but the coach didn’t give any further details.
Kingsbury stated, “We’re working with him on something.” “We’ll update you as soon as we have the information.”
DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, jogged with the team without the use of a brace. He had torn his MCL in December and was unable to wear a knee brace. He seemed to be able to run and do drills with no difficulty.
Kingsbury stated, “He’s very close.” We’re being cautious with him not playing for the first six weeks.
Arizona knew it couldn’t fix all its issues instantly. But it set out to rectify its football transgressions largely without quarterback Kyler Murray, who reported for one of three voluntary OTAs and the mandatory minicamp.
Murray’s teammates didn’t mind. They understood the fourth-year quarterback, who’s embroiled in contract negotiations, didn’t have to show up during OTAs. And, by and large, they supported him because, they said, they understand there’s a business side to football.
“That’s my quarterback,” left tackle D.J. Humphries said. “I saw a quote the other day that was like, ‘Have you seen the organization before he got here?’ And, I mean, I was here with Carson [Palmer], so obviously, I’ve seen greatness, but I mean that statement is not a lie.
“If you think that Kyler is not our future, you are a plum fool. There’s no question of that.”
Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury diverted questions about why Murray chose to attend certain practices and not others back to the quarterback, and Murray did not address the media this offseason. But Kingsbury did say the key to Arizona fixing last year’s issues was rooted in the scheme. Arizona was able to make tweaks, adjustments and additions to its scheme with backup quarterback Colt McCoy when Murray wasn’t at practice.
“He and Kyler obviously have a great relationship and they can talk through things and work through things and get things that maybe were cloudy last year or they didn’t like as a unit sorted out during this time,” Kingsbury said.
The setup has worked, according to Kingsbury. He has been able to get input from Murray throughout the offseason.
“I don’t think we’ve missed too much,” Kingsbury said.
Not having Murray around for two of the four weeks of practice didn’t put a dent in building camaraderie either, Kingsbury said. Having two consecutive offseasons altered by COVID prepared Arizona for building cohesiveness without everyone in person.
“Not having an offseason the last two years, I think guys that are used to that,” Kingsbury said. “I mean, there’s a few guys that train on their own and do those certain things and people understand that, so I don’t see it as being as big of an issue.
“Once you get to training camp, there’s plenty of time to bond and come together.”
Every player has his own approach to the voluntary workouts, defensive lineman J.J. Watt said.
“Being here with the guys at OTAs, I think that being on the field is extremely valuable, because I don’t think you can get better at football without playing football,” Watt said. “And, so, taking advantage of every single opportunity, taking advantage of every rep, all the individual drills and everything, and the camaraderie and getting the guys together, I think for me, personally, is very big.”
Humphries was taught earlier in his career by former NFL offensive lineman Andre Smith to not let the league surprise him.
“Certain stuff gotta go a certain way for both parties to be happy and they’ll figure it,” he said. “I stay out of stuff like that. I don’t want nobody in my business when I’m talking about stuff. I support my guy all the way though.”
When Murray was on the field, running back James Conner said he looked like the same old Murray.
“He was here for a little bit throwing an excellent ball,” Conner said, “so we know come game time, he’ll be ready.”