The heavy lifting is basically done, the NFL Draft has come and gone and aside from a veteran signing or two (James Bradberry?), we have settled into the real offseason of the NFL schedule.
In order to fill our insatiable hunger for NFL content, I thought now would be the perfect time to play "Guess the Contract!" for Kyler Murray.
We know Kyler has settled in to calling Arizona home after quieting the pre-draft trade rumors on social media and now we know Steve Keim is ready to roll up his sleeves to negotiate.
So here are the rules of the game: You have to predict when the deal gets done and what the AAV (average annual value will be) for the Kyler Murray mega-deal.
Here are my best guesses:
Date: I think this deal gets done in early June. If I put the over/under on a deal of June 20th, I'd take the under. These two sides know each other well, considering Murray's agent is also Kliff Kingsbury's agent, have gotten all the ugly stuff out of the way early and can now just sit down and talk numbers. While other QB deals have gotten done later, Josh Allen in early August and Patrick Mahomes in early July, I'd expect the Cardinals to get things done earlier. Kyler has some questions about his leadership and a contract negotiation that gives him an out from OTA's is not ideal for anyone. I think Kyler and the Cardinals get a deal done before the entire city of Phoenix takes off for San Diego or Flagstaff in July.
Size: This one is easier than most people think because we've had two very recent quarterback contracts signed in the last two months that frame the negotiations. Derek Carr got $40 million a year, Kyler is worth more than that. Aaron Rodgers got $50 million a year and Kyler is not worth more than that. So we're looking at a range of $41-$49 million dollars a year if everyone is being rational, a pretty big assumption for both sides. But let's assume rational though prevails: Right in the middle of that range is $45 million dollars a year. This was the benchmark set by Patrick Mahomes two years ago. Last year, Josh Allen got $43 million a year and this year Deshaun Watson got $46 million a year. If I'm Kyler Murray's agent, I'm asking for more than Allen and Watson but less than Rodgers. I'd guess this deal comes in around $47 million dollars a year.
What does NFL Insider Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network think are the answers to our "Guess the Contract!" game? I asked him earlier this week and here's what he had to say: