As former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray makes the pre-draft rounds, he has been accompanied only once by agent Erik Burkhardt. That happened when Murray visited the Cardinals.
Some would say that Burkhardt’s representation of both Murray and Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury made the arrangement not so unusual. But there’s another angle that merits consideration.
Are the Cardinals negotiating a contract with Burkhardt for Murray?
With the team and the league (and the networks that will broadcast the draft) having a clear interest in keeping Arizona’s plans for the first pick under wraps, no one will be saying whether talks on a four-year deal are occurring. But it would make sense for the Cardinals to want to get Murray signed to an agreement that includes a no-baseball clause before putting his name on the first 2019 draft card.
Before the 2011 CBA, teams would from time to time sign the first overall pick to a contract before the draft. Since 2011, however, there is less to negotiation. Moreover, as the draft has continued to grow, however, it has become more important to keep as much about the process as secret as possible.
It’s a natural extension of the no-tipping-picks mandate that the league annually sends to its broadcast partners. Indeed, the worst pick to tip is the first one, and if Murray ends up signing a contract at the time he’s picked, the negotiations leading up to that deal are something that everyone will keep quiet until the moment Burkhardt produces the final draft from his briefcase in the green room and Murray signs applies his signature to it while Murray is on the phone with Kingsbury, G.M. Steve Keim, and/or owner Michael Bidwill.