After massive new deal, the goal for Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is to 'win championships' – The Arizona Republic

Now that he’s signed one of the biggest contracts in NFL history, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray can put the kibosh on any plans to give professional baseball a try, right?
That question was put to both Murray and Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim on Friday during a news conference at the team’s Tempe training facility to formally announce Murray’s new five-year, $230.5 million extension.
“Did you see the payroll of the Oakland A’s versus his contract?” Keim asked, rhetorically, to a roomful of laughter.
The A’s, who used a first-round draft pick on Murray in 2018, have a total payroll of $48.5 million this year. Murray will be earning $46.1 million a year, the second-most in football behind only Aaron Rodgers of the Packers.
“I’m where I want to be,” Murray said with a slight smile.
There will be no training camp holdout, no more worries or wonders if he’ll play elsewhere and certainly no more speculation about switching sports. Kyler Murray is here, he’s sighed through 2028 and he’s not only content but intent on bringing a Super Bowl championship to Arizona.
“For me, it’s always been about fulfilling my promise, which is hopefully one day to bring a championship to this organization,” Murray, 24, said. “I’m a firm believer in bringing that here. I know we’re capable. I know it can get done.”
Right up until the moment it was learned on Thursday that Murray had agreed to his new deal, there were concerns it might not happen before the start of training camp, which begins on Tuesday. Keim said he went through “several weeks of sleepless nights,” which includes multiple late-night phone conversations with Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill.
In the end, however, Keim always had a peaceful optimism that things would work out. A key was reminding Murray and his agent, Erik Burkhardt, that the GM’s top priorities first were getting through the free-agency signing period and the NFL draft.
“Not at all,” Keim said when asked if he ever had any doubts about the deal getting done before camp. “Just because I had so much faith in not only Erik Burkhardt, because I have a long relationship with him, but (coach) Kliff (Kingsbury) and I went and saw Kyler and his parents this offseason and had great communication with them, felt great about the dialogue and understood what the expectations were from both sides.”
After expressing his gratitude to the organization and giving thanks to his family, who were in attendance at Friday’s new conference, including his bulldog, Swoosh, Murray was asked what’s next now that he got his new contract.
He’s already won Rookie of the Year and been named to back-to-back Pro Bowls and the Cardinals have gone from five wins to eight wins to 11 wins. The Cardinals also made it to the playoffs last season before getting torched in the NFL Wild Card round 34-11 by the Rams.
“I personally feel like this is just the start,” Murray said. “I feel like the past three years we’ve been able to do a lot of great things. All we’ve done is go up. I’ve done a lot of great individual things. But again, for me the goal is to win championships and I feel like this is the start.
“I think a lot of the reps and a lot of the experience I’ve been able to go through these past three years will help me help bring along the rest of my guys and I think as a collective (group) we’ll all be better from here on out.”
Murray had one of his worst games as a pro in the playoff loss to the Rams and although it stung then and still stings today he was quick to point out that “every great has gotten beat in a terrible way at one point or another.” To that end, he said from a long-term perspective, “It was probably good for us. To feel that pain, that hurt, watching the game over and over again, we can learn from it.”
After two second-half season collapses in both 2020 and 2021, Murray knows where the Cardinals need to get better. And he didn’t shy away from offering his own advice on how to fix it.
“As a whole, it’s just attention to detail when it comes to November, December,” he said. “Everybody talks about how great we’ve been to come out of the gate, but when it gets later in the season and guys get banged up — I’ve been banged up a couple times — the little things matter.
“I think if we all hone-in on the little things, be great at the little things, I think that will take us to the next level. In the past, we’ve kind of gotten away with doing things maybe not the right way and it ends up catching up to us. … I think we’ve learned from all the negatives.”
Speaking of negatives, Murray was asked for his reaction to star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins being suspended for the Cardinals’ first six games for violating the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs.
“I know what type of guy he is. I know what type of player he is,” Murray said, declining to discuss the suspension in any specifics. “He’s a brother of mine, a great dude, and I love him to death. I just know whenever he gets back, he’ll be ready to go.”
On the positive side, Murray has another new target to throw to in former Oklahoma teammate Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, who was acquired in a draft-day trade with the Ravens along with a third-round pick in exchange for the Cardinals’ first-round pick.
“I’m excited for Arizona to see what he’s capable of, for the world to see what he’s capable of,” Murray said. “I think he gets a bad rap as well, but like I said, two dudes I’m very fond of, great football players, and I’m excited they’re on my team.”
Keim and Murray declined to discuss why there doesn’t appear to be any no-trade clauses in the contract extension. Interestingly, the deal does include a bonus of nearly $10 million tied directly to Murray being a full participant in all offseason activities.
Toward the end of Friday’s news conference, Cardinals backup quarterback Colt McCoy grabbed a microphone and had a question for Murray. He and the team’s other quarterback have reported to camp early along with all rookies. McCoy wanted to know if Murray planned to be at Saturday’s walk-through practice.
“I’ll be there,” Murray said grinning.
The Cardinals made a few roster moves on Friday, placing tight end Maxx Williams on the Physically Unable to Perform list and announcing they have signed free-agent wide receiver Victor Bolden Jr. and have released receiver Jared Smart.
Williams suffered a torn ACL in Week 5 last season but is eligible to return to practice at any point during the preseason. If he remains on the PUP list by the start of the season, he will not be eligible to play fir the first six weeks. In five games last season, he had 16 receptions for 193 yards and a touchdown.
Bolden, who is 5-8, 178 pounds, most recently played in the USFLA where he was named to the All-USFL team as both a wide receiver and special teamer with the Birmingham Stallions. He led the league with 1,209 all-purpose yards and was also named the MVP of the USFL Championship game after finishing with six receptions for 64 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown catch.
An undrafted rookie free agent out of Oregon State in 2017, he has spent time with the 49ers, Bills and Lions.
Have an opinion on the Arizona Cardinals? Reach McManaman at bob.mcmanaman@arizonarepublic.com and follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac. Listen to him live on Fox Sports 910-AM every Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 on Calling All Sports with Roc and Manuch. 
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Christopher Jones
Christopher Jones
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