Kyler Murray's agent, Erik Burkhardt, released a statement on Monday morning asking the Cardinals to take action on a new contract for the young quarterback and perhaps setting the stage for an ongoing public negotiation between Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals.
My immediate reaction was it felt more like an advertisement for the agent than a good faith effort to negotiate.
Then I found myself agreeing with him before flipping on myself and wanting to criticize Kyler and his agent. Let me explain.
Kyler Murray deserves a contract from the Arizona Cardinals. Despite his flop to end the season, the Cardinals in no way shape or form are better off without Kyler Murray than they are with him. That's kind of the cornerstone of a negotiation and for having leverage. Sure, the Cardinals could wait and even play hardball with the franchise tag but its clear he will not tolerate any of that.
Here's the current list of active QB's who have received a contract extension after Year 3:
If we remove Rodgers, Wilson and Carr from the list because Rodgers sat for 2.5 years and the other two weren't first round picks, it leaves us with two different groups of QB's. One group is Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Deshaun Watson, these were the no brainers. The other group is Jared Goff and Carson Wentz; they were the mistakes. Kyler is probably between those two groups but definitely closer to Allen/Mahomes to me than Goff or Wentz.
The Cardinals have had three years to try and show some tough love to Kyler. Choosing now, during a contract negotiation feels like the wrong place and the wrong time to do so. Its like they're trying to make up for three years of coddling Kyler by somehow showing a hard line in contracts. Its like your parents letting you do whatever you want all school year long but the night before graduation they turn into disciplinarians.
On the other hand, Kyler has yet to fully meet his responsibilities after the Cardinals season ended in dramatic failure. Had he shown the proper public accountability after the season ended in disaster, he likely would've put the Cardinals into a tough position now to do anything but reward him with a lucrative deal. Instead, very few people are in the mood to reward Kyler or hear his demands after he is perceived to have shirked a large portion of his leadership responsibilities from the year.
The Cardinals and Kyler are both at fault for being in the spot they are currently in. Publicly bickering isn't going to change anything.
Right now, leadership is in short supply for the organization and that needs to change in all areas as soon as possible.