Kyler Murray’s scrubbing of all Cardinals references from his social media on Monday reportedly stems from frustrations the quarterback has with his team — feelings that are mutual.
According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Murray was embarrassed by the Cardinals’ early exit at the hands of the Super Bowl-bound Rams in the NFL playoffs. Los Angeles beat Arizona 34-11 in the wild-card round; the Cardinals had beaten the Rams 37-20 in the teams’ first meeting of the season before losing 30-23 in a mid-December rematch.
Mortensen reports Murray feels he has been made the scapegoat of the loss (he completed 19 of 34 passes for 137 yards and two interceptions). Likewise, sources among the Cardinals indicate Murray to be “self-centered, immature and someone who points fingers.”
Mortensen also reports that veterans on the team hope to reach out and instruct Murray on how to “better handle adversity.” Larry Fitzgerald, who played two seasons with Murray under center, also spoke out about his social media scrubbing. Though he hasn’t talked with him about it, he said he “wants the best for everybody.”
“I just hope everything works out the way both sides want it to work out,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s really what it’s all about for me. I love Kyler, I love the Cardinals and I want the best for everybody.”
The Cardinals were the league’s last undefeated team at 7-0 before finishing 4-6 in the final 10 games of the regular season. That downfall and early exit from the playoffs are the key reasons Murray feels frustrated with the Cardinals. To that end, Mortensen reports that Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury is “self-scouting” to find “better alternatives” for Murray.
The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract. The Cardinals have till May 2 to pick up his fifth-year option. Arizona has seen improvement in each of Murray’s first three years, going from 5-10-1 in 2019 to 8-8 in 2020 and 11-6 (including a playoff berth) in 2021.
Murray is 21-23-1 as a starter for the Cardinals, completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 70 touchdowns and 34 interceptions through three seasons. He averages 3,827 yards passing a season and has also added 1,786 total rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground. He was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 and has made two Pro Bowls.
Per Mortensen, the Cardinals expect Murray to be their quarterback of the present and future — a notion the team echoed in a statement released to ProFootballTalk:
“We are excited to continue that improvement in 2022 and are excited that Kyler Murray is the quarterback leading us.” (2 of 2)
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 13, 2022
Murray will make $965,000 in base salary in 2022. He will also make a fully guaranteed $4.5 million roster bonus.