Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray’s Deal Has Offset Language

Kyler Murray‘s deal with the Cardinals contains offset language, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB (on Twitter). Offset language is usually at the root of most prolonged rookie negotiations, but the two sides managed to sidestep the issue and come to an accord on Thursday

Offset language relates to what happens to a player’s salary if he’s cut during the first four years of his career, while he’s still playing on his rookie contract. For the top 15 to 20 picks in the draft, those four-year salaries are fully guaranteed, even if a player is waived at some point during those four seasons. For example, if a player has $4MM in guaranteed money remaining on his contract and is cut, he’ll still be owed that $4MM.

However, if a team has written offset language into the contract, that club can save some money if and when the player signs with a new team. For example, if that player who had $4MM in guaranteed money left on his contract signs with a new club on a $1MM deal, his old team would only be on the hook for $3MM, with the new team making up the difference. If there’s no offset language on that first deal, the old team would continue to be on the hook for the full $4MM, and the player would simply earn an additional $1MM from his new club.

So, Murray appears to have accepted the typical offset language in a rookie deal, though his contract is not without unusual wrinkles. The pact also contains language that will void the deal if he leaves the NFL to pursue his baseball career.

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Cardinals Sign Kyler Murray, Five Other Draft Picks

The Cardinals have signed first overall selection Kyler Murray, the club announced today. Arizona also signed following draft choices:

Like all first-round picks, Murray has signed a four-year deal with a fifth-year option for the 2023 season. Per Over the Cap, Murray’s contract should be worth $33.159MM in total. He’ll receive a signing bonus of roughly $23.59MM, and carry a cap charge of $6.392MM during his rookie campaign. Murray’s contract contains language that will void the deal if he leaves the NFL to pursue his baseball career, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. 

Murray, of course, spurned MLB’s Oakland Athletics in order to enter the NFL Draft. The Cardinals have since traded 2018 first-round quarterback Josh Rosen to the Dolphins, and intend to install an Air Raid system under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Along with new weapons like rookie wideouts Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler (neither of whom was signed today), the Cardinals will look to improve an offense that ranked among the league’s worst last year.

While Murray is the headliner, Murphy is a name-brand prospect in his own right. Projected by many observers to become the first cornerback off the board, Murphy ultimately lasted until the first pick of the second round. An excellent zone coverage corner, Murphy will fit in well with new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph‘s zone-heavy scheme.

Cardinals Select Kyler Murray No. 1 Overall

The Cardinals have selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall selection of the 2019 NFL draft.

Murray, who won the 2018 Heisman Trophy as the NCAA’s best football player, had long been the favorite to go to Arizona at No. 1, but reports in recent weeks — and even recent hours — had suggested other players such as Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Ohio State edge defender Nick Bosa could be in contention for the pick. But the Cardinals opted to go with Murray in a franchise-altering move.

Arizona, of course, used a top-10 selection on a quarterback just one year ago, moving up in the first round in order to acquire UCLA’s Josh Rosen. Rosen went on to post one of the worst rookie quarterback seasons of all time, but a porous offensive line, questionable coaching, and a lack of offensive weapons were at least partly to blame. He now appears to be trade bait, although the Cardinals may be in no rush to move him if they don’t find the right deal.

Murray becoming the NFL’s first overall pick would have been unthinkable as recently as the winter, as he’d already been drafted ninth overall by MLB’s Oakland Athletics. After hemming and hawing about his future, Murray in February fully committed to football, and returned the majority of his baseball signing bonus with the hope he’d recoup those lost funds via the NFL. Murray’s first NFL contract should have a total value north of $35MM and will be fully guaranteed.

At 5’10”, Murray becomes the shortest signal-caller drafted in the first round in more than 60 years, but his height was no obstacle during his lone season as the Sooners’ starter. Last year, Murray completed 69% of his passes for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, and added another 1,001 yards and 12 scores on the ground.

After adding Murray, the Cardinals now face the tall task of building up their roster around their rookie passer. Offensive line, pass-catcher, and defensive line are just a few areas general manager Steve Keim and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury could target over the remainder of the draft.

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Latest On Cardinals No. 1 NFL Draft Pick

With hours to go before the 2019 NFL Draft, the Cardinals’ plans for the No. 1 overall pick remain shrouded in secrecy. Just recently, Cardinals GM Steve Keim reached out to Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams to let him know he’s still a possibility to go first overall, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter) hears. 

At this point, only GM Steve Keim and a few others know the identity of the top pick, Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). It still sounds like Kyler Murray will be the pick, but no one knows for sure, especially since there have been no trade talks surrounding Josh Rosen at this time.

Further complicating matters is a split of opinions in the Arizona front office about whether Rosen and Murray could co-exist on the roster together. One team source tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that the situation would not work after Rosen was selected to be Arizona’s QB of the future just one year ago. Another team source, however, feels that it could work.

Stay tuned.

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Josh Rosen Is Unaware Of Cardinals’ Plans

If the Cardinals select quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick tonight, as most expect, then Josh Rosen will almost certainly be traded, either during the draft or after. His trade market has been fluctuating quite a bit recently, but Arizona will likely be able to get a decent return from some team that misses out on a collegiate signal-caller over the next several days.

But as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Rosen himself remains in the dark. The team has given him no indication one way or another as to what it intends to do tonight, which would create a rather uncomfortable situation if Murray is not the pick.

If the Cardinals don’t take Murray, they will have to do a lot of work to mend fences and repair their relationship with a player that just one year ago was deemed their franchise quarterback. The same will hold true if they draft Murray and, for one reason or another, keep Rosen on the roster. Rosen has already admitted that he is frustrated by the situation, which is certainly understandable.

All of that makes it more likely, in Florio’s view, that the Cardinals will indeed take Murray tonight and will trade Rosen in the very near future. Rosen just doesn’t know that yet.

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Draft Rumors: Bush, Redskins, Rams

Let’s round up the latest draft rumors in advance of tonight’s main event:

  • We heard several days ago that the Falcons were interested in trading into the Top 10, and that they had their sights set on defensive linemen like Christian Wilkins and offensive linemen. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network confirms that Atlanta is indeed interested in moving up, but his sources say the club’s target is actually linebacker Devin Bush (Twitter link). Per Pelissero, the Falcons would need to leapfrog the Broncos, who hold the No. 10 overall pick, to assure themselves of landing Bush.
  • Despite all of the rumors suggesting that the Redskins are interested in making a big trade up into the Top 5, Pro Football Talk says that all of the calls that team president Bruce Allen are making are just an example of Allen being Allen and that Washington doesn’t really have a desire to make a move (Twitter link).
  • Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that the Rams, who hold the No. 31 overall pick in tonight’s draft, have received a number of calls from teams wanting to trade into the back end of the first round. First-rounders, of course, can be kept under club control for five years instead of four.
  • As Pelissero notes in a separate tweet, the teams that have shown the most interest in trading down from their current first-round slots are the Jets (No.3), Lions (No. 8), Dolphins (No. 13), Seahawks (Nos. 21 & 29), and Rams (No. 31).
  • If Kyler Murray should start to fall down the draft board, he may end up having a better financial future in baseball. As Albert Breer of SI.com notes, MLB’s Oakland A’s have offered him a $14MM “sweetener” on top of the $4.6MM bonus he was already due after the club drafted him last year, for a total of $18.66MM. That number would land between the 10th and 11th overall picks in tonight’s NFL draft, so if Murray ends up falling that far, teams are concerned that he would return to the diamond. But Breer still thinks that Murray will be the No. 1 overall pick tonight.
  • Breer calls Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons the most interesting prospect in the draft. He is one of the top defensive players in his class, but the troubling video showing him striking a woman in high school, along with his ACL tear, have completely removed him from some teams’ draft boards. But there is still a good chance that he will be selected in the first round tonight.
  • The Panthers and Vikings are both very serious about addressing their needs along the offensive line with early draft picks, as Breer notes in a separate piece. Both clubs used a high number of top-30 visits on O-linemen.
  • LSU cornerback Andraez “Greedy” Williams is perhaps the most talented corner in the draft, but as Breer notes, he comes with plenty of red flags concerning his toughness, work ethic, and personality. He did not make a single pre-draft visit, and despite his upside, he could slip out of the first round.

Raiders Considering QB With No. 4 Overall Pick?

Just over a week ago, we heard that the Raiders were unlikely to use one of their three first-round picks on a QB. However, a report from earlier this week suggested that Oakland would be sorely tempted by Kyler Murray if he should slip past the Cardinals, and now Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says that Murray isn’t the only signal-caller the Raiders will consider with the No. 4 overall pick (video link).

RapSheet says rumors connecting the Raiders to a QB continue to persist, and although the team has been steadfast in its support of Derek Carr, Murray and Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins were very impressive to Oakland brass. The implication here is that, assuming no one trades above the Raiders at No. 4, Haskins (or Murray) could very well be Oakland-bound.

That is why teams like the Redskins who are interested in Haskins are concerned with getting above both the Giants, who hold the No. 6 overall pick, and the Raiders. That is welcome news for the Jets, who have the No. 3 overall pick and who are anxious to trade down.

Top defensive prospects like Quinnen Williams have generally been mocked to the Raiders, and the club still could go in that direction. But head coach Jon Gruden is not shy about making bold decisions, and if the team went with Haskins, it could give itself another future trade chip in Carr, and it could still address more glaring needs with its other first round picks.

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West Draft Rumors: Cardinals, Murray, 49ers, Broncos

On Saturday, Arizona State receiver and local product N’Keal Harry visited the Cardinals for a private visit, NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport tweets.

Possessing the size, strength and speed of a prototypical outside receiver, Harry could be an option for Arizona should he still be on the board when the team is on the clock at No. 33. Harry should fully be in play there, as the Cardinals reportedly like the value of going receiver with their second-round pick, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller tweets.

Should the team go with Harry, it would pair him with another local standout in Christian Kirk, who impressed as a rookie before missing time with an injury down the stretch. The pair of young wideouts would join veteran and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald in a potentially loaded receiver corps for either Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray, should the team go with the Oklahoma product as expected a week before the draft.

Here’s more draft talk from around the league:

  • Sticking with the Cardinals, though the team has been heavily linked to Murray, Kent Somer of the Arizona Republic believes the team should pass on the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He thinks the team should stick with Rosen, attempt to trade down to pick up more picks, and, if that option is not possible, take either Quinnen Williams or Nick Bosa.
  • Speaking of Williams, many NFL executives reportedly prefer the Alabama defensive lineman to Ohio State’s Bosa as the draft’s top overall prospect, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk writes. In a poll of 14 personnel members by Bob McGinn, six chose Williams as the top picks, twice as many as Bosa, who received the second most. Also receiving votes were Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Jeffery Simmons.
  • The Broncos have been heavily tied to quarterback’s heading into this week’s draft. Helping pick that signal-caller, if they do indeed go that route, is new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, who learned how to pick the position from 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran writes“Kyle had a lot of success (evaluating quarterbacks) and (he) showed me some things that I use in the evaluation process,” Scangarello said. “It’s a tough position to evaluate. You just get them in (the meeting room) and you try and find out what you can about them.” Denver has been linked with Drew Lock, but Daniel Jones, Murray and Dwayne Haskins could all fit the bill at No. 10 if everything falls right.
  • The 49ers have been heavily tied to either Bosa or Williams with the No. 2 pick on Thursday, but the team is looking to the skill positions for their Round 2 pick, NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco writes. At the top of the list is wide receiver, where they are looking to find a starter-level pass catcher to complement second-year wideout Dante Pettis and veteran Marquise Goodwin. Maiocco notes the receivers who have been in for a visit include Harry, A.J. Brown, Hakeem Butler, Jalen Hurd and Deebo Samuel.

 

 

‘Belief In Some Circles’ Raiders Could Draft Kyler Murray?

The conventional wisdom the past couple of months has been that the Cardinals will take Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. But nobody knows their true intentions, and they could just as easily take Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams with the top pick. If they do pass on Murray, it’ll set off an interesting chain reaction.

This past week, we heard that some teams were beginning to prepare for some of the top quarterbacks to start slipping in the draft if the Cardinals do pass on Murray. If Arizona drafts Murray, it could create a frenzy for teams to move up and get one of the next top available passers like Dwayne Haskins or Drew Lock. But if they don’t take Murray, teams could be more content to wait and everybody could end up sliding.

That being said, don’t expect Murray to fall too far. “There’s a belief in some circles” that the Raiders will be “tempted” to take Murray if he’s still available when they pick fourth overall, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Coach Jon Gruden and new GM Mike Mayock haven’t exactly been committal when asked about Derek Carr this offseason, so this isn’t too shocking.

Gruden and Mayock have both insisted they view Carr as a franchise quarterback, but have also said they’re willing to upgrade the position if the opportunity comes along. Thanks to the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, the Raiders have plenty of draft ammo. They have three picks in the first round, and could easily execute a trade up for Murray if that’s what it ended up requiring.

At this point it would still be a surprise if it happens, but it’s worth noting. The team has already worked out Murray, as well as Haskins. Gruden has been playing coy with the Carr situation, and it’s unclear how he truly feels about the Raiders’ quarterback of the past five seasons. Fortunately, with the draft just days away, we should know more soon.

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Draft Notes: Packers, Dillard, White, Fins

Midway through a rather notable offseason, given the recent behind-the-curtain look at their previous power structure, the Packers are investigating some high-end quarterback prospects. They are obviously set at sports’ marquee position, but with Aaron Rodgers set to turn 36 by season’s end, Green Bay is at a similar point compared to when it last made a major quarterback investment. The Packers will host Drew Lock on a visit Tuesday, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports (on Twitter). They also tried to set up a summit with Daniel Jones, but the parties’ schedules did not line up, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds (via Twitter). The Packers took Rodgers when Brett Favre was 36 and sat him for three years. While Green Bay pulling the trigger on a passer would be rather surprising, especially given Rodgers’ contract status, the team does have two first-round picks this year.

Here is the latest from the draft world, staying on the subject of quarterbacks:

  • Lock will also meet with the Chargers, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com (on Twitter). Teams have ramped up their signal-caller-related preparation, in the event Kyler Murray does not go No. 1, according to Robinson, who notes some teams believe this year’s passers could slide a bit should Murray not be the Cardinals’ choice atop the draft. Some modest steam picked up on this notion earlier Monday.
  • The Dolphins, who already met with Jones, will head to the Duke campus to work out the former Blue Devil starter, Rapoport reports (on Twitter). Teams only have a few more days to host prospects on “30” visits but can still work them out after that deadline passes. Miami will also host Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Devin White‘s stock has risen during the pre-draft process, to the point he may be the rare off-ball linebacker to be picked in the top five. One of the teams holding such a selection, the Raiders, brought in White for a visit, Rapoport tweets. The Buccaneers, who hold pick No. 5, have been closely connected to the LSU ‘backer. The Raiders have the No. 4 overall pick. Oakland, which also holds the Nos. 24 and 27 selections, will meet with tight end Noah Fant, on Monday as well, Rapoport tweets. The Raiders lost their starting tight end of the past two seasons, Jared Cook, in free agency.
  • For weeks, the Jets have been viewed as a team that would love to trade down. They are meeting with a prospect Tuesday that would support the fact this is a consideration. Ed Oliver will visit the Jets, per Schefter (on Twitter). While the defensive tackle is a surefire first-round talent, he has not been mocked as a player who would be a consideration at No. 3 overall.
  • The Titans are visiting with defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, per Rapoport (on Twitter). This is the Notre Dame-developed defender’s second known visit, the first having come with the Saints recently. Tillery remains in rehab after surgery to repair a torn shoulder labrum.
  • Not much has surfaced about which teams are researching an Andre Dillard pick. That has changed. The Washington State tackle prospect is visiting the Falcons on Monday and will meet with the Chargers later this week, Schefter tweets. Additionally, Schefter adds the first-round offensive line hopeful has already visited or worked out for a host of teams — the Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Ravens, Titans, Panthers, Vikings, Jaguars, Bills, Texans, Bengals, Packers, Redskins.