What has been a dreary fall for Arizona Cardinals bettors morphed into an outright nightmare Monday night, when quarterback Kyler Murray blew out his knee in a loss to New England.
The fourth-year signal-caller will likely be out until at least 2023 training camp for the 4-9 Cardinals, less than a year after the former Heisman Trophy winner signed a five-year, $230 million extension.
The Cardinals have taken a beating at Arizona sportsbooks, with the team’s Super Bowl odds now tied for last in the NFL (+100000).
Murray, only 25 years old, is due just $2.965 million in salary over the next two seasons, thanks to a backloaded contract. But including his signing bonus and other incentives, the average annual salary of Murray’s new contract is $46.1 million per season.
BetArizona.com wanted to contextualize how Murray fared in the first year of his new contract and in Arizona NFL betting compared to the other big name quarterbacks who signed new deals during the offseason.
Kyler Murray’s 2022 Season in Dollars Per Stat
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How Murray Stacks Up Vs. NFL QB Competition
Murray was one of five NFL QBs to sign a contract extension ahead of the regular season, joining Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins, the Los Angeles Rams’ Matt Stafford and Las Vegas’ Derek Carr, to go with first-year Cleveland QB Deshaun Watson.
His stats before his injury weren’t terrible, with Murray’s 2,368 passing yards ranking fourth of the five, ahead of Stafford’s 2,087. Stafford, who won the Super Bowl last season with the Rams, is also out for the year with an injury.
Watson is only two games into his season after missing Cleveland’s first 11 due to a suspension related to sexual misconduct. He has thrown for 407 yards in those games.
Of the other four QBs, Murray ranks behind Rogers (2,864 yards), Carr (3,117 yards), and Cousins (3,358 yards), while also throwing fewer touchdowns (14) than all but Watson.
But Murray’s seven interceptions are less than Stafford (eight), Rodgers and Cousins (nine) and Carr (10). And only Cousins has led his team to more than five wins this season — the Vikings lead the NFC North at 10-3.
Dollar For Dollar Comparison
The immediate results from the Cardinals’ investment in Murray have been a wash, as their odds plummet on Arizona betting apps and they march toward their first double-digit loss season since 2019.
That said, Murray’s 2022-23 campaign has still seen a better return on investment than that put forth by Stafford and Watson, with the former Oklahoma Sooner throwing for more yards, completions and total TDs this season than the duo. But the separation will likely grow with the other quarterbacks on this list, who have four games left in the season.
The man known as “K1” averaged just over $177,000 per completion, $2.7 million per total touchdown and $19,000 per passing yard this year. Cousins is the current leader in two of those three categories, averaging $109,034 per completion, and $10,422 per passing yard, while ranking in a tie with Rodgers for total touchdowns (22).
Still, Cousins works out as a better bargain than the others by that metric, as he’s averaging just over $1.59M per total touchdown, ahead of Carr ($2.0M), Rodgers ($2.285M), and Murray ($2.71M).
The lone category where Murray ranked ahead of the other five was in rushing yardage, where he finishes 2022 with 418 yards, or $110,287 per yard.
Of the others, Carr is the next closest, with 88 rushing yards (or $460,227 per rushing yard).
What to Make of Murray’s Year
While there’s no way around the fact the 2022 season has been a dud for the Cardinals, there’s reason to believe Murray’s brightest days are ahead of him.
Arizona, despite posting a 4-9 record this season, will have a full host of players back next year — including All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins and defensive lineman JJ Watt.
There’s also hope the Cardinals can turn around some of the six losses they’ve suffered this year by 10 points or less.
But until Murray returns, no one can know for sure about the Cardinals future or the wisdom of Murray’s contract extension.