Arizona Cardinals release supportive statement on Murray's supposed frustration with team

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Arlington, Texas.

It's been one week since the mystery about the alleged acrimony between Kyler Murray and the Cardinals arose via his apparent social media scrub-and-snub about the team surfaced.

Arizona's star quarterback removed all Cardinals-related photos from his Instagram account, and left just two pics of himself at Oklahoma and himself with his former college teammate and Dallas Cowboys wideout CeeDee Lamb together at last Sunday's Pro Bowl.

ESPN reported Sunday there is some frustration between him and the Cardinals after their embarrassing 34-11 playoff loss to NFC West rival Los Angeles Rams on Jan. 17 in the Wild Card round, which began the Rams' run to Super Bowl 56.

The report reads Murray feels scapegoated, in which he went 19-of-34 for 137 yards, threw two interceptions and no touchdowns in the loss, and some possible finger-pointing after their collapse in the regular season's second half.

Murray and Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury were strong NFL MVP and Coach of the Year contenders, respectively, but the team finished the season at 11-7 after one of their best starts in franchise history at 7-0 and then lost five of their last six games.

The team gave some clarity in their statement released on Sunday.

"Nothing has changed regarding our opinion and high regard for Kyler Murray," the Cardinals said. "We as a team and Kyler individually have improved each year he’s been in the league. We are excited to continue that improvement in 2022 and are excited that Kyler Murray is the quarterback leading us."

On Friday, the Cardinals seemingly poked fun at the media chatter that ensued about Murray's Instagram account by scrubbing the team's Instagram account down to Murray's draft photo and the same pic he posted of himself at the Pro Bowl.

Murray and his agent Erik Burkhardt have not spoken publicly about the issue.

Murray's teammates Christian Kirk, DeAndre Hopkins and the technically-not retired Larry Fitzgerald don't know what's going with Murray, but offered their support for him this week during interviews.

“I haven’t talked to Kyler in a while,” Fitzgerald said. “He looked good in the Pro Bowl. He looked like he was having a great time, throwing touchdowns out there. I just hope everything works out the way both sides want it to work out. That’s really what it’s all about for me.”

Many NFL pundits speculate Murray's frustration is also connected to his contract situation.

The former No. 1 overall pick and 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal, in which he's slated for a base salary of $965,000 next season. Murray will get approximately $5.4 million following a $4.5 million roster bonus fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year.

After Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen signed his six-year extenstion for $258 million last August, that could be the precedent Murray is looking for the Cardinals to measure his own extension.

The team has until May 2 to pick up his fifth-year option, which would be locked in for the next two season if they exercise it.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Cardinals release supportive statement for Kyler Murray