Cardinals GM Steve Keim: 'Zero chance' of team trading QB Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray isn’t any closer to getting the contract extension he covets, but Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim put any speculation to bed on Thursday about the team trading the young quarterback elsewhere, saying there is “zero chance.”
After winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and subsequently being named to back-to-back Pro Bowl teams the past two seasons, Murray, the former No.1 overall draft pick, is eligible for a contract extension. He and his agent, Eric Burkhardt, reportedly are seeking a multi-year deal in the range of $40-45 million a year.
Burkhardt submitted a contract proposal to Keim and the Cardinals several weeks ago but have pulled that offer from the table and it’s unclear when any negotiations may resume, if they even ever started.
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“Nothing’s changed,” Keim said Thursday during a news conference with coach Kliff Kingsbury to discuss the upcoming NFL draft. “Really the way we’ve approached it is we have free agency, we have the draft and then we’ll take a deep breath and sort of refocus. That’s the same reason that every other player that’s been a third-year quarterback has done in the middle of summer to late summer and it’s no different for us.
“It’s just sort of the way that the system works. Nothing has changed as far as him being our long-term and short-term quarterback.”
There has been increased speculation, however, that Murray won’t play for the $5.5 million he is scheduled to earn this coming season and that if he doesn’t get a new deal done by the start of next week’s draft, he might demand a trade.
Neither Murray nor Burkhardt have ever stated that publicly, but that’s been the scuttlebutt. Keim, however, said the Cardinals have always known they will have to pay Murray and that the team is simply taking its due diligence before turning its full attention to a new contract for the quarterback.
“I was a decent GM when Carson Palmer was our quarterback,” Keim said. “When he retired, I wasn’t very good. I am smart enough to know that Kyler Murray makes me a better GM. We took him with the first overall pick. We love him. The guy’s continued to improve. He’s made us a better football team. So, we’re really excited about his future.”
The Cardinals began their offseason strength and conditioning program on Tuesday and Murray was among several players who did not report to the team’s Tempe training facility. Murray reportedly told the team he would be working out on his own in his home state of Texas.
“We understand it’s voluntary at this point,” Kingsbury said. “I do expect him here at some point, but I think if you ask any coach, we all want them here a lot more than we get them. But that’s part of the CBA and they’re all professionals and handle their business.”
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