The Cardinals Roll The Dice On Kyler Murray's Health
Good NFL quarterbacks get paid a ton of money. Great NFL quarterbacks get paid a ridiculous amount of money. Great, young quarterbacks get paid a mind-blowing amount of money.
Apparently the Cardinals have anointed Kyler Murray a great, young quarterback, and gave him a 5-year extension worth $230.5-million.
Murray was going into the 4th year of his 5-year rookie deal and will now be a Cardinal for at least the next 5-years. Murray's contract lasts thru 2028 but the team would be able to get out of the last remaining year and his $46.35-million cap figure without absorbing any dead money.
If the team decided to cut him in 2027 it would cost them $21.385-million against their cap, due to the guaranteed money.
But, is Kyler Murray really worth that much money? Even if his 3-year NFL stats are deemed deserving of such a mega-contract, is it smart to invest that kind of money in a player that's 5'11" tall and weighs 207-lbs and runs around amongst players who use more weight during their workout sets than Murray himself weighs?
Murray has a limited injury history thru his first three NFL seasons, but a sprained ankle in week-8 of last season landed him on the injury report and out of the line-up for the next three games.
And the fact that 35-year old back-up QB Colt McCoy went 2-1 in those three games with a 74% completion rate with three TD's and one INT while playing on a contract that pays him only $3.25-million per year makes one second-guess a contract like the one the Cardinals just gave to Murray.
The way Murray's contract is structured, when 2024 rolls around, his cap number will account for 20.3% of the Cardinals cap space. Certainly a lot can happen between now and then, but that's a lot of cap space for a guy that doesn't seem like he's built to withstand the beating an NFL QB takes who wants to run as often as he does.
His new contract includes $160-million guaranteed for injury at signing, and another $103.3 million fully guaranteed at signing. That would be tough pill to swallow if he was to get injured and miss a significant amount of time.
The new deal averages $37.956 million per year, putting him fifth behind Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott, and Patrick Mahomes.
And if you want it in a "Madden23" perspective, Murray's 84 QB ranking makes him the 12th-ranked QB in the game.
We all know that in order to win in today's NFL you need to have a good QB, but investing that much money, and guaranteeing so much of it, seems like a huge gamble that could set a franchise back for years if the fear of a career-ending injury turns into reality.