Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has been “praying” the team will sign quarterback Kyler Murray to a long-term contract extension before the start of training camp. Now, with just three weeks until rookies report to camp, at least one of Murray’s teammates believes the two sides are “getting closer” to a deal. Starting guard Justin Pugh told “The Dave Pasch Podcast” this week that Murray and the Cardinals are still working toward an agreement, suggesting “it’s only a matter of time” before talks are finalized.
“We were always under the impression he was going to be here (this offseason),” Pugh said of Murray, per USA Today’s CardsWire. “Obviously, he may not be as happy as he would be if he had the contract, but he’s been here, which lets you know the two sides are getting closer. If it was further apart and they weren’t seeing eye to eye and things weren’t close, I don’t think he would be here. … Showing that we are working toward that, I think it’s only a matter of time before this thing gets done. Hopefully it’s done before camp, so we just have everything in the rear view.”
All signs point to Pugh being correct. Earlier this offseason, Murray and the Cardinals appeared to be on shaky ground. ESPN reported Arizona was concerned about the QB’s leadership, and Murray’s agent released a lengthy public statement all but demanding a contract extension before the 2022 season. The former No. 1 overall draft pick attended mandatory minicamp, however, ending any speculation of a holdout, and both Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim have publicly supported signing Murray beyond 2022.
“We’re about to make him, I’m sure, the highest-paid player in this franchise’s history,” Kingsbury previously said, per ESPN, “and so he understands what comes with that. The guys know what he can be at his best.”
Murray, 24, is technically already under contract with the Cardinals through the 2023 season, after Arizona exercised the QB’s fifth-year option this April. He would likely see a massive pay raise on an extension, with most veteran starting QBs averaging at least $35 million per year on long-term deals signed this year.