Arizona Cardinals Quarterback Kyler Murray and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, recently released a statement seeking a long-term contract extension from the franchise. Should the Cardinals concede and “show Kyler the money?”
Kyler Murray and his agent have placed the Cardinals front office, Owner Michael Bidwell and General Manager Steve Keim, in an awkward position. First, Murray takes hold of the headlines after purging his social media of anything Cardinals-related.
Then reports begin filtering out of Arizona that Murray is not a “first guy in, last guy out” type of quarterback and is not an active participant in team meetings. Next, Bidwell disputed that any issues exist with Murray and stated “well, put me in the category that I love him, and I know he’s going to get better.”
Let’s think about the last part of that sentence, “and I know he’s going to get better.” Just as a general interpretation that does not sound like Bidwell is completely convinced Murray is either
a.) the guy to lead their franchise long-term yet
b.) ready or deserving of a contract extension yet
Bidwell doubled down on his statement in the same interview and alluded to the fact that they have other priorities as far as signing free agents go. This likely did not go well with Murray as his next move was to release a lengthy statement, likely drafted by his agent, that basically stated Kyler is ready to commit to the Cardinals and to winning a Super Bowl, but at the same time wants a lengthy financial commitment from the Cardinals.
Murray’s agent led it off with a statement that he probably should have read aloud a few times before putting it on paper; “Actions speak much louder than words in this volatile business.”
Burkhardt is correct in that actions do speak much louder than words in this business, a statement that Murray should have taken into account before going down this road. Murray has achieved one playoff appearance, which was a loss to the Los Angeles Rams, has already sustained two significant injuries that led to time off the field, and has a win-loss record of 22-23-1.
Murray has not been a huge presence in the media but this is certainly not helping his case. The young quarterback is starting to add several negative aspects to his reputation; a trend of shutting down in the second half of the season after having a strong start, immaturity after the social media cleanse, and now a public demand letter seeking a contract extension.
Several other noticeable quarterbacks are seeking extensions; Lamar Jackson, Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield. None of them have elected to go down this road. And for good reason. It shows immaturity and a lack of understanding as far as when you have earned something and how you should ask for it. Making a public request, putting all eyes on the owner and his constituents, all after your first playoff appearance (loss), is the exact opposite of how contract negotiations should be handled by the leader of the franchise.
Steve Keim was asked about this rising issue at the Combine in Indianapolis and his response is basically what you would expect.
"“The one thing I’ll say in regards to the statement is I think it’s an agent doing his job. I have a lot of respect for Erik Burkhardt and Kyler Murray.”"
The damage is already done but the Cardinals front office appears to be holding steadfast in that they want to see more of Murray, they understand Burkhardt is doing his job as an agent, but extending their high-powered but disgruntled young quarterback is not a priority at this time. And Murray will have to understand that, or should, understand that, and continue to play on his current contract.
So the answer to the question is “no.” They should not give in to his demands.