It is no secret that for the first time in Kyler Murray’s young career, instead of progressing, he regressed.
From 2019-2021, Murray saw a slow increase in production in just about every statistical category.
His yards per game increased by around 20 each year, his completion percentage continued to rise, and his QB rating reached 100 for the first time in 2021.
However, this past season, Murray played in only 11 games, and throughout those games, there really wasn’t anything that stood out with the 25-year-old quarterback.
His QBR hit a career low of 87.2, which was behind about three-quarters of the league. Some notable names that probably should not be ahead of the third-highest paid quarterback in the NFL include:
- Jacoby Brissett
- Taylor Heinicke
- Daniel Jones
- Sam Darnold
- Andy Dalton
No disrespect to these quarterbacks, but when you are paying someone close to $50 million a year, you would expect them to at least scrape the top ten in most statistical categories.
Instead, Murray ended his 2022 season with a 3-8 record as a starter, threw for a career-low 215 yards per game, and averaged just 6.1 yards per attempt, which was the lowest among quarterbacks that started in at least five games.
This begs the question: Was the $230.5 million contract extension a bad idea?
“It was like they created a monster.”
Silver expanded on this with an even more disturbing statement.
“Once paid, the veteran said, Murray felt less compulsion to study his game plan or to fulfill the expectations of the franchise QB position than he had in the past, and the Cardinals’ collapse felt predictable.”
While the player’s identity has been hidden, there is an obvious root to the statement, and all signs point towards the independent study time clause that was included in the Murray contract extension last offseason.
The clause that caused analysts across the NFL community to drill into Murray to the point where Arizona had to remove it indefinitely.
It was what started an entire season of drama, the clause kicked off a stereotype that may only leave Murray if he goes on an MVP type run.
Now, after tearing his ACL, the young quarterback is expected to miss the first couple weeks of the 2023 season. This means, his window of opportunity with the Cardinals is quickly closing.
After all, the 2024 offseason will be the first time that Arizona has the potential to trade away their former No. 1 overall draft pick.
There is a lot on the line for Kyler Murray this fall, and with a new head coach and general manager, there really is no excuse if the poor play continues.
How Murray recovers from this injury could very well be a career-defining moment, and it is completely up to him in which direction that goes.