TEMPE, Ariz. ( Associated Press) — Kyler Murray whipped around the practice area, showing off dancing around the cone, sharing some laughs with teammates.
The Arizona quarterback still doesn’t have the long-term contract extension he’s been seeking, but was a full-on go-to for one of the Cardinals’ last mandatory offseason workouts.
“There is no doubt to me that he is the leader of this franchise,” Cardinals coach Cliff Kingsbury said on Tuesday. “We’re gonna make him, I’m sure he’s the highest paid player in the history of the franchise and so he understands what comes with that and people know what he can do to be at his best. Any time we can put the whole band in there, things pick up.”
1 overall pick of the 2019 draft, Murray has been one of the NFL’s most dynamic quarterbacks in two seasons in the desert. He is already a two-time pro bowler and last season led the Cardinals to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Murray, who did not speak to reporters on Tuesday, is set to earn $5.5 million this season and $29.7 million next year, when his fifth-year option is selected. He is looking to the future, however, seeking a long-term deal signed last offseason of Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen’s $254 million deal.
Progress on its signing has been slow, causing little tension in the desert.
Murray at one point wiped his social media accounts of any Cardinals references and his agent, Eric Buchart, sent an all-caps statement to media outlets urging the quarterback to obtain a lucrative long-term deal.
Murray missed Arizona’s first voluntary off-season workout in May before returning to the field earlier this month. He resumed off-season workouts in Texas before rejoining the team this week.
“As a team, we have to keep going. The wheel doesn’t stop,” said Cardinals offensive lineman Justin Pugh. “We would love to have everyone here participate, of course we would, but they are voluntary workouts and Kyler needs to be on the right track.” Shouldn’t be here. He has obviously played really good football and is looking to get a contract. It’s a limited period of time where we have the potential to create a high dollar amount and want to capitalize on it.”
If contract talks continue, tensions could mount, possibly leading to a holdout at the start of training camp late next month.
Kingsbury is hoping he doesn’t.
“Just personally, I’m being selfish here,” he said. “I would love for him to be there on the first day of training camp.”
The Cardinals have another off-season workout on Wednesday after opting to reduce the mandatory minicamp from three days to two. This gives him a little over a month to deal with Murray before training camp begins.
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