Sports

Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray agrees to $230.5 million deal, now among NFL’s richest QBs, source says

Arizona Cardinals star Kyler Murray has agreed to a five-year extension worth $230.5 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a deal that makes him one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks.

The deal, which runs through the 2028 season, includes $160 million in guaranteed money, the source told Schefter. The Cardinals officially announced Murray’s five-year extension Thursday but did not disclose terms.

The average annual value of Murray’s deal is $46.1 million, which is the second-highest in the NFL behind only Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million).

Deshaun Watson’s deal with the Cleveland Browns has an average annual value of $46 million, and Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes’ deal averages $45 million per year.

Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim worked on the deal into Wednesday night and finalized the agreement Thursday morning after months of ongoing negotiations, according to Schefter.

Murray, 24, already had been under contract through the 2023 season after the Cardinals exercised their fifth-year option on his rookie deal this past April. But the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner’s long-term future in Arizona became uncertain earlier this year after Murray scrubbed his Instagram page after the Pro Bowl, leaving just two posts: one of him at Oklahoma from 2018 and one from the Pro Bowl.

Keim said earlier this year that there was “zero chance” Murray would be traded and indicated a long-term deal could be finalized at some point during the summer after the organization had a chance to “take a deep breath and sort of refocus” after free agency and this year’s NFL draft, similar to negotiation timelines that culminated in lucrative deals for other third-year quarterbacks such as Mahomes and Buffalo Bills star Josh Allen.

Murray, who was drafted first overall by the Cardinals in 2019, has established himself as one of the NFL’s top young quarterbacks over the past three seasons. He led the Cardinals to year-over-year improvement each season — from five wins in 2019 to eight in 2020 and 11 in 2021, all while setting records.

Murray is the first player in NFL history with at least 70 passing touchdowns, 20 rushing touchdowns, 3,500 passing yards, 400 rushing yards and 17 games with a completion percentage of at least 70% in his first three seasons. His overall completion percentage of 66.86 is the best for a player in his first three seasons.

Murray also was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and a Pro Bowler in each of the past two seasons.

Arizona missed the playoffs in 2020 after losing six of its last nine games — including consecutive win-and-they’re-in contests to close out the season. Murray was injured throughout the second half of 2020 and spent the offseason frustrated and lamenting self-inflicted mistakes that cost the Cardinals a postseason berth.

In 2021, however, the Cardinals appeared to have figured out their issues from the end of 2020. They started 7-0, and Murray was part of the MVP conversation. He then missed three games with an ankle injury, and Arizona went on to finish the season 4-6 and was blown out by the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card round.

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