TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Kyler Murray-Arizona Cardinals saga took a very public turn Monday morning.
Murray's agent, Erik Burkhardt, said in a statement Monday that the quarterback has sent a detailed contract proposal to the Cardinals. The statement noted that in order to consistently compete for championships, the franchise needs long-term stability, which Murray is offering.
After weeks of drama, the statement made two things clear: Murray is committed to remaining with the Cardinals long term, and he "desperately wants to win the Super Bowl."
By putting the onus on the Cardinals to get a deal done, Burkhardt opted for a tactic that Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has sworn against during his 10 years at the helm: negotiating publicly. Murray's unhappiness and frustration with the Cardinals, who went through a second straight second-half collapse this season, which resulted in an embarrassing blowout loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round, hasn't been a secret.
After that game, Murray said he believed that last season, which Arizona started 7-0 and finished 11-6, could be considered a "massive failure." Asked what went wrong during the second-half collapse, Murray said: "I wish I could tell you." Later, he was asked about what the Cardinals need to be able to avoid tailspins in the second half of their seasons and win in the playoffs. "I think that's one thing we'll address going forward," he said.
Murray, who hasn't spoken publicly since the loss to the Rams, raised eyebrows when he scrubbed his Instagram of all references to the Cardinals on the Sunday of the Pro Bowl, in which he played.
Earlier this month, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported via sources that Murray was frustrated with the franchise, was embarrassed by the team's playoff loss to the Rams and thinks he has been made the scapegoat.
On Feb. 14, Murray posted a photo of himself in a Cardinals uniform with a caption that read: "I play this game for the love of it, my teammates, everyone who has helped me get to this position that believed in me & to win championships. All of this nonsense is not what I'm about, never has been, never will be. Anyone who has ever stepped between those lines with me knows how hard I go.
"Love me or hate me but I'm going to continue to grow and get better."
Murray is scheduled to earn a base salary of $965,000 in 2022 but, combined with a $4.5 million roster bonus that's fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year, Murray will take home about $5.4 million.
While Burkhardt, who also represents Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, did not specify specific details, he mentioned that Murray's proposal is "in line with the current quarterback market" but lowers his 2022-23 salary-cap number to allow the Cardinals to re-sign "other deserving teammates and add additional free agents."
During a radio interview on Arizona Sports 98.7 on Friday, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said he talked with Murray on Thursday night and "we've had good conversations nonstop."
"When you look at it, the window has just opened for a contract extension. Certainly he's part of our long-term plan," Bidwill said during the interview. "These contracts, especially quarterback contracts, are very complicated, so when you look at it, most of the big ones are done further down the road. ... We've got time, but they're complicated and we also have other priorities.
"Free agency starts here in a couple of weeks as well as we got to get some guys re-signed. The salary cap is one big pie, and you're making room for a new piece of the pie that's going to replace the rookie contract. Again, the structure of it, the timing of it -- it's a complicated process and it takes some time. ... I know we're going to be aggressive, and Kyler's a part of our long-term plan."
On Sunday, Burkhardt responded to a tweet about the possibility of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers being worth $50 million per year with: "Frankly, Rogers is worth well more than $50m per... ANNOUNCERS are now making $20m+! To drive to the game, out of harm's way, & just talk about QBs/ players! Packers are a top seed contender with Rogers. What are they without him?? 5-6 wins & essentially irrelevant? Pay the man!"
Burkhardt says it's now up to Arizona to make the deal, adding that "Kyler remains hopeful that the organization chooses to commit so that he can continue leading the Cardinals to further success and value for many years to come."
In his three seasons in the NFL, Murray has been named Rookie of the Year and made two Pro Bowls, but this season was the first time the Cardinals made the playoffs with him.