Kyler Murray conducted an unannounced press conference Thursday after practice, with the Cardinals quarterback calling recent suggestions that he does not prepare enough to play – spurred by the leak of a four-hour study clause in his new contract – were "disrespectful" and "almost a joke."
Later in the day, NFL Network reported that the clause had been removed from the contract by the Cardinals on Wednesday.
"After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract," the Cardinals said in a statement. "It was clearly perceived in ways that were never intended. Our confidence in Kyler Murray is as high as it's ever been and nothing demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract."
The fourth-year QB usually waits for questions during his pressers, but he this time opened with a passionate monologue defending his process in light of heavy criticism across national platforms over recent days.
"To think that I can accomplish everything I've accomplished and not be a student of the game and not have that passion and not take it serious, it's disrespectful and almost a joke," Murray said.
"I'm honestly flattered that you all think I can go out there and not prepare for the game and not take it seriously. It's disrespectful to my peers, to all the great athletes in this league. This game is too hard. To play the position I play in this league, it's too hard."
Murray declined to answer a question whether he was upset with the team for putting the clause in the contract, which stipulated he needed to put in at least four undistracted hours of video study away from the team each week of the season.
Murray reiterated multiple times he watches plenty of video on his own, although he acknowledged he enjoys the process within the give and take alongside coaches and fellow quarterbacks.
"I'm not 6-7, 230, can't throw it 85 yards," Murray said. "I'm already behind the 8-ball. I can't afford to take any shortcuts, no pun intended."
Murray had been in good spirits when he agreed to the contract and when he signed, and tight end Zach Ertz noted on Tuesday Murray was happy with the deal and "that's all that matters."
Murray acknowledged he was, but admitted it was difficult once the study subject was the topic daily on national TV shows and sports radio talk shows.
"You go from (the contract) to seeing everything about you in a negative light, as far as one of the greatest moments in one's life or one's professional career … I think any player would feel a certain way about it," Murray said. "I understand media and I understand how it works, but that's why I'm here today and telling you what it is."
He added he did not regret his comment to the New York Times last year that he did not feel like he had to watch a lot of video.
"There are different ways to learn and watch the game," Murray said, noting that, in all facets of life, people also learn at different speeds.
Murray had said in his contract press conference he embraced the pressure that came with playing quarterback and now the added intensity from his new contract.
The spotlight wasn't going to change and there will still be conversations on the topic of Murray and his prep work. Murray knows it's impossible to control that, but he noted it was "important" to have his say on Thursday.
"I refuse to let my work ethic and my preparation be put in question," Murray said. "I have put in an incomprehensible amount of time and blood, sweat, tears and work into what I do. Whether it was football or baseball.
"To those of you out there who believe that I would be standing here today in front of you all, without having a work ethic and prepared, I'm honored you think that. It doesn't exist. It's not possible."
Images from 2022 Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium