After weeks of sending signals through social media, Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray finally made his feelings known about his future with the team in late February.
In a statement released by his agent, Murray said he wants to be the Cardinals quarterback long term. But he wants a sizable monetary commitment from Arizona in return.
To this point, that's been the last word on the Murray-Cardinals saga, which started when the quarterback unfollowed the team’s Instagram account shortly after the season ended.
While little has changed with Murray since the end of February, the NFL's quarterback market has undergone a shift of epic proportions. Tom Brady un-retired, Aaron Rodgers recommitted to Green Bay and blockbuster trades have sent Russell Wilson to Denver and Deshaun Watson to Cleveland.
Below, we break down the latest on Murray for Arizona Cardinals betting fans, along with a look at how drastically potential suitors for the Cardinals quarterback have changed since February.
Kyler Murray's 2022 MVP Odds
Murray is still the Cardinals top choice at sportsbooks to win the MVP award. His odds sit at +2500 on BetMGM, but those Arizona online betting odds can vary from site to site. Murray is entering the fourth year of his NFL career and is coming off a season with 4,210 total yards (rushing plus passing) and 29 total touchdowns.
Arizona Cardinals 2022 Super Bowl Odds
With Super Bowl 57 being played at State Farm Stadium in Glendale and Super Bowl betting in Arizona expected to be HUGE, the Cardinals might be a fun futures bet to take since the last two Super Bowl champs won at their home stadium. The Cardinals are +2500 to win the Super Bowl according to DraftKings Arizona. BetMGM also has Arizona at +2500 down from +2000 in late February.
Kyler Murray's Rookie Contract
The 2022 season is the final year of Murray’s rookie contract, which was a four-year, $35.7 million deal the No. 1 pick signed after getting picked by the Cardinals in 2019. Murray’s rookie deal includes an escalator clause in his base salary, taking it from $495,000 in 2019 to $965,000 in 2022, with a signing bonus of $5,897,481 in each of the four years, between 2019 and 2022.
Also included in Murray’s rookie deal is a $4,524,360 roster bonus and a $11,386,841 salary cap hit in 2022. Murray’s average salary in his rookie deal is $8,914,504. Murray would become a restricted free agent next offseason if an extension isn’t reached and would be an unrestricted free agent if he isn’t signed long-term before the end of the 2024 regular season.
Is an Extension with the Cardinals Possible?
Murray and the Cardinals have ample time to work through their differences, as the NFL’s contract extension deadline isn’t until July 15.
The Cardinals can either give Murray an extension or use their franchise tag on him during the 2023 offseason, which would keep him around through that season, at least.
Here is the statement Murray released, through his agent, in late February announcing his desire for a lucrative, long-term deal.
Kyler Murray's Highlights in Arizona
Murray made Kliff Kingsbury’s squad go when he was healthy, helping the Cardinals to a 6-0 start, the team’s first playoff appearance in six years and a spot high atop Arizona betting apps Super Bowl favorite lists.
Murray had his best statistical year as a pro in 2021, completing a career-best 69.2% of his passes, while eclipsing 3,500 passing yards for a second consecutive season. He also wound up with his best TD-to-interception ratio of his career, connecting on 24 TD passes to 10 interceptions.
His rushing stats were the lowest of his career, posting totals of 423 yards and five touchdowns (down from 819 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2020). Murray was an NFL MVP frontrunner for a sizable portion of the 2021 regular season, reaching the No. 1 spot on BetMGM Arizona’s MVP board at +400 after leading the Cardinals to a 6-0 start. An ankle injury and spotty play ultimately tanked Murray’s MVP chances but speak to the potential the quarterback has going forward.
Murray's First Twitter Response
Murray's initial response to his contract controversy came via Twitter the day after the Super Bowl. He said he wanted to "continue to grow and get better" but didn't mention if that growth would come with the Cardinals.
BetMGM Odds on Murray Starting Week 1 for Cardinals
BetMGM Arizona was taking bets on the Cardinals quarterback situation, but those odds were no longer available by late March.
The site started offering wagering during the week after the Super Bowl. The odds Murray would take the first snap in Week 1 of the regular season for Arizona steadily dropped from -2000 to open, down to -1000 in mid February and -500 in late February.
Which Arizona Cardinals QB will take the first snap in Week 1 of the 2022 regular season?
Kyler Murray's Next Team: February Odds
When Murray's unhappiness with Arizona first surfaced, Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson set odds on possible trade destinations for the quarterback. The list shows the dramatic movement in the NFL quarterback market from the end of the season until now:
From February: Breaking Down Murray's Potential Next NFL Team
Take a look back at the teams who could have been in the running for Murray when the news of his displeasure with the Cardinals surfaced in early February:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+350) | The Co-Favorite
The Buccaneers obviously need to replace seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who retired this month after spending 22 years in the NFL with New England and the Buccaneers. A Kyler Murray-Buccaneers marriage would allow the former No. 1 pick to play for Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians, who led the Cardinals to two playoff appearances in five seasons, before retiring in 2017. Since then, Arians has posted a 31-18 mark in Tampa Bay, including the franchise’s second Super Bowl championship in 2021.
- Denver Broncos (+350) | The Co-Favorite
The Broncos are still on the prowl for the franchise’s first superstar quarterback since Peyton Manning retired in 2015. Since then, Denver has cycled through QBs with gusto, with the 2018 season being the only one where a single QB started all the team’s games (Case Keenum). A Murray-Broncos partnership would allow franchise executive and QB legend John Elway to try his hand at grooming the Broncos’ next great quarterback, giving Denver something it hasn’t had since No. 18 last left the field.
- Green Bay Packers (+650) | In The Mix
The Packers are faced with growing questions about the future of longtime QB Aaron Rodgers, as the 38-year-old enters the penultimate season of the six-year, $134 million contract he signed in 2018. Caesars Sportsbook Vice President of Trading Craig Mucklow said in an email to BetArizona.com a hypothetical Rodgers for Murray trade would make sense for both sides. It would infuse youthful energy into a Packers team that’s already a Super Bowl contender, while giving Arizona a veteran QB to go with its experienced roster.
“Any odds change will depend on who they trade for or replace Murray with,” Mucklow said. “For example, if there’s a trade of let’s say Murray for Aaron Rodgers then prices won’t adjust. However, if Murray is replaced with a lesser quarterback or draft picks then there will be a significant shift in their odds. We won’t adjust off rumors as usually these moves are just negotiating ploys, but the rumors will certainly encourage bets on the teams within the division sensing the impending unrest.”
- Dallas Cowboys (+800) | Dark Horse
The Cowboys are always looking for their next franchise puzzle piece, with Murray being a natural fit in that sort of system. The Texas native has gone 9-0 during his high school, college, and NFL career at AT&T Stadium, giving Cowboys fans reason to clamor for a return of the prodigal son. Incumbent Dallas QB Dak Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million deal with the Cowboys in 2020 that runs through the 2024 season.
- Atlanta Falcons (+1000) | Long Shot
The Falcons place on this list stems from veteran QB Matt Ryan’s advanced age and declining stats. The 15-year QB threw for 3,968 yards and 20 TDs in 2021, his lowest total in either category since 2010. More importantly, Ryan is 36 years old and hasn’t led the Falcons to the NFL Playoffs since 2017. The Falcons are led by second-year head coach Arthur Smith, who went 7-10 in 2021, after serving as the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans in 2019 and 2020. Maybe Smith can help Murray find that next level of production, like he did with Titans QB Ryan Tannehill during their time together.