The Cardinals and Kyler Murray are a long way from disappearing Instagram content or XL-length Twitter comments.
The two sides agreed to a new Murray contract Thursday, bringing to a close a topic that dominated the offseason, nearly from the time it could even, by rule, happen (which was before the playoff game against the Rams.) A lot was said, and a lot more was even speculated upon. But all along, GM Steve Keim said it was a timing thing and something that happened later in the offseason, and however it evolved, that's exactly how it played out.
- It got done before training camp.
- It gave Kyler the big extension he wanted.
- It looks like it lowered his $11 million salary cap number this year, giving the Cardinals more flexibility than before (we will wait to see the reported numbers.)
- It settled a narrative that could have been a distraction at best, or kept the QB away from practice at worst.
It's for a ton of money, yes, and Kyler is still seeking to lead a good end to the season for his team and a playoff win. But this is the going rate for a young, good QB, and there wasn't much choice in my opinion. The answer at quarterback was on the roster, not some pipe dream elsewhere. Say what you want about the Pro Bowl and those selections, but Murray has made it two years running and you can't be mediocre and do that.
There are improvements he needs to make. He'll acknowledge that too, whenever he next speaks. The attention is only going to get more intense with everyone knowing what he now brings home in his paycheck. That, for better or worse, is how this works.
But locking up Murray, on the heels of the news center Rodney Hudson expects to play this season, were two unknowns that are now known in the Cardinals' favor, and before camp starts. No games yet for Kliff Kingsbury, but he's got to be counting these as a couple of wins.