Kyler Murray’s new contract ranks him #2 on highest-paid quarterbacks list

Kyler Murray’s NFL career is still young, but he finds himself at a pretty interesting crossroads heading into the 2022-23 NFL season. The young Arizona Cardinals quarterback had a disastrous start to the playoffs against the Los Angeles Rams. He then expressed his dissatisfaction with his previous contract.

Murray recently landed his new $230.5 million deal, but he still has a lot of questions to answer. Let’s take an in-depth look at how he landed his new big contract and how he compares to other NFL quarterbacks.

How Kyler Murray negotiated his new contract with the Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray | Harry How/Getty Images

As ESPN reports, when Murray complained about his previous contract this offseason, the Cardinals had no choice but to back down. Murray had three solid years at Arizona — a franchise that has rarely seen consistent play from a quarterback over the years.

Murray is the only passer to throw 70 touchdowns and run 20 more in his first three years in the league. He is also the only Cardinals QB to have over 3,500 and 20 points in three straight years.

Murray and the team faltered against the Rams last postseason. But you have to look at this single game in a larger context. Just the fact that Murray led the club to the playoffs was a significant step forward. This was a team not far from being the #1 pick in the NFL draft. Murray played a bigger role than anyone else on the roster to get them into the playoffs.

So Murray made noise to get a new deal and the team relented. So what did they spit out to keep him?

The details of Kyler Murray’s contract

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The Cardinals gave Murray a five-year contract extension. The deal is valued at $230.5 million, of which $160 million is guaranteed. This will keep Murray in a Cardinals uniform throughout the 2028 season, assuming he closes the deal.

When Murray sees the end of the contract — never a certainty in the NFL, where you’re just one injury away from losing your job — he’ll accomplish something significant. It would make him the Cardinals quarterback with the second-longest run as a starter. The only player before him at this point would be Jim Hart, the team’s QB from 1966 to 1983.

Where Kyler Murray is on the list of highest paid quarterbacks

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Murray’s deal leaves him in thin air in terms of QB salary. Murray is now the second highest paid signal caller in the NFL. According to Over the Cap, Murray’s contract is second only to Aaron Rodgers in terms of annual value. That puts the young player under pressure. After a somewhat tumultuous off-season with the team, he has exactly what he wanted. Now it’s time for him to deliver.

This raises the question of whether Murray really deserves to be the second-highest-paid QB in the NFL. The answer to that is complicated. If you’re wondering if Murray is the second-best QB in football right now…no, he’s not there yet. After a shaky playoff start last season and plenty of room for improvement, there’s still a decent number of passers who have enjoyed better results since the beginning of his career.

But the question isn’t whether Murray is second-best QB; it’s whether he deserves to have the second highest contract. The answer to that is simple: players, especially quarterbacks, get what the market offers. Murray and his representatives were able to use the pressure he had to force this new deal.

The responsibility lies with Murray to deliver now that he got the deal he wanted from the Cardinals.

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