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Cardinals Sign Justin Murray To Two-Year Contract Extension

Reserve offensive lineman started 12 games in 2019

Offensive lineman Justin Murray (71) blocks against the Lions during last weekend's game.
Offensive lineman Justin Murray (71) blocks against the Lions during last weekend's game.

The Cardinals are happier with their offensive line depth this season than they have been in recent years, and they made a move Friday to keep that depth stable.

The team signed reserve Justin Murray -- who started 12 games at right tackle in 2019 -- to a two-year contract extension prior to their trip to Carolina. Murray had been scheduled to be a free agent after the season, but now is under contract through 2022.

Murray played a series each at right guard and left guard last weekend against the Lions even though starters J.R. Sweezy and Justin Pugh were fine health-wise.

"He's a guy who played a lot last year," Kingsbury said earlier this week. "We want to keep Sweezy fresh and get him some work in there, and I thought rotating him on a couple of series was a nice change up for our offense."

The 27-year-old Murray was claimed off waivers at the end of the 2019 preseason after he had been released by the Raiders. The Cardinals are his sixth NFL team since coming into the league undrafted in 2016, but he found a home with offensive line coach Sean Kugler. The Cardinals' coaching staff reiterated often this past offseason that he was the most improved player over the course of 2019, and his ability to play both guard and tackle make him a valuable commodity.

"I couldn't be more fired up for Justin," Kingsbury said about the contract. "When we got him here a couple days before the season opener last year, nobody knew who he was. In kind of an emergency deal, he steps in and starts that week and starts a lot of games. He's just gotten better and better.

"He works his tail off. His attention to detail, his passion for the game, he's everything you want in your organization. So I couldn't be more thrilled for him. He bounced around a bunch of teams to get to this point, but he's made the most of his opportunity."

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