The controversial “independent study” clause in Kyler Murray‘s new contract, which required him to spend at least four hours watching game film each week, has reportedly been removed by the Arizona Cardinals.
The team’s alleged move comes shortly after Murray called the criticism “disrespectful” (quotes per nfl.com).
“To think that I can accomplish everything that I have accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game and not have that passion and not take this serious is disrespectful, and it’s almost a joke,” Murray said, via NFL.com. “To me, I’m flattered. I want to say flattered that you all think that at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game, and not take it serious.
“It’s disrespectful, I feel like, to my peers, to all the great athletes and great players that are in this league. This game is too hard. To play the position that I play in this league, it’s too hard.”
Murray and the Cardinals recently agreed to a five-year, $230.5 million extension, ending a long offseason saga between the two sides. But the deal made headlines beyond just the money when it was revealed that studying is written into his contract.
Murray has been the Cardinals’ primary starting quarterback since 2019, when the franchise selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma. This came one year after the Cardinals traded up to select UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen with the No. 10 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Arizona traded Rosen to the Miami Dolphins in 2019.
Across his three-year NFL career, Murray has averaged 3,827 passing yards, 23.3 passing touchdowns, 11.3 interceptions and a 93.9 quarterback rating per season, completing 66.9% of his passes. He has also averaged 595.3 rushing yards and 6.7 rushing touchdowns on 104.7 rushing attempts per season.
Murray also discussed how he has put in a great deal of effort to find success at his size (5-foot-10).
“I’ve put in an incomprehensible amount of time, blood, sweat, tears and work into what I do, whether it’s football or baseball,” Murray said. “People can’t comprehend the amount of time that it takes to do two sports at a high level in college. Let alone be the first person to do it ever at my size, like I said, it’s funny, but to those of you out there that believe I would be standing here today in front of y’all without having a work ethic and without preparing, I’m honored that you think that. But it doesn’t exist. It’s not possible, so that’s all I have on that.”
The Cardinals have an average record of 7.3-7.7-0.3 with Murray under center since 2019. They finished the 2021 regular season 11-6, good for second in the NFC West, but lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round, 34-11. Arizona extended general manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury through 2027 this offseason.
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