Kyler Murray returns to Cardinals for first time this offseason amid contract dispute

·2 min read

Kyler Murray's brief holdout appears to be over.

The Arizona Cardinals quarterback reported to the team facility Wednesday for the first time this offseason, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, for Arizona's second week of voluntary organized team activities. Murray skipped the team's first set of voluntary OTAs in late May following a tumultuous few months that featured contract demands, trade rumors and overall discontent between team and quarterback.

Speculation surrounding Murray's future with the Cardinals surfaced in February after the quarterback deleted all traces of the Cardinals from his Instagram account and an ESPN report laid out Murray's frustrations with the team following Arizona's playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. Murray's agent, Erik Burkhardt, then posted a letter in late February refuting the report but asked the team to enter into contract negotiations with Murray three years into his rookie contract.

"Kyler remains hopeful that the organization chooses to commit so that he can continue leading the Cardinals to further success and value for many years to come," Burkhardt wrote in the letter. "We sent a detailed contract proposal to the organization."

Burkhardt outlined three requests for any new contract for Murray: 1) it is in line with the current quarterback market relative to Murray's production, 2) it lowers his 2022-23 salary cap to give the Cardinals more financial flexibility and 2) represents a "real commitment from the organization."

Murray didn't get a new contract — yet — but the Cardinals did pick up his fifth-year option for the 2023-24 season last month. He'll make a fully-guaranteed $29.7 million next season, according to Spotrac, after making a guaranteed $5.5 million this upcoming season. While this isn't exactly what Murray likely wanted, it at least gives the Cardinals two more years of team control during which they can decide the quarterback's fate and value.

At the very least, the Cardinals tried to appease their quarterback by trading for his friend and former Oklahoma wide receiver, Hollywood Brown. Arizona sent the 23rd overall pick in the 2022 draft to the Baltimore Ravens for Brown and a third-round pick.

Murray's decision to return to team practices is encouraging for the Cardinals and a sign of possible mending of fences between the two sides. There's still an entire offseason and preseason to go, though, for things to possibly sour. Not to mention the Cardinals won't have star wideout DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the season after already losing running back Chase Edmonds and receiver Christian Kirk in free agency.

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