Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray friendship could influence Murray’s situation with Cardinals

USA TODAY Sports

They were teammates at Oklahoma. They won the Heisman Trophy in consecutive years. They were the No. 1 overall picks in 2018 and 2019. And they remain close friends.

So here’s the question. How much will Baker Mayfield‘s experiences in Cleveland influence Kyler Murray‘s handling of his situation in Arizona?

A year ago, Mayfield was where Murray is. The window had opened for a new contract between Mayfield and the Browns. The talks never went anywhere, quite possibly because the player wanted something in the neighborhood of $40 million per year and the team wanted to pay something closer to $30 million per year. Mayfield played without a new contract, injured his shoulder in Week Two, struggled for the rest of the season, and ultimately found himself kicked to the curb — after the team apparently told him he’d be the guy during his option year.

Murray approaches his fourth NFL season in a similar posture. Although the team has yet to make an offer, Murray’s agent has submitted a proposal. Undoubtedly, Murray wants much more than the Cardinals will pay.

Unless the Cardinals are willing to trade Murray (and for now there’s no reason to believe that they will), the two sides are headed for an inevitable impasse. How Will Murray handle his side of it? He’ll quite possibly get advice from Mayfield, who quite possibly will tell him to do whatever he has to do to get his financial protection, and to trust no one along the way.

During his recent podcast appearance, Mayfield said the NFL is “a snaky f–king business.” In recent months, Mayfield has experienced the worst of it. Murray could end up going through the same kind of thing.

He already is. Remember the Super Sunday Splash Report! from ESPN that Murray is viewed as self-centered, finger-pointing, and immature? What if that came directly from the upper reaches of team management, as part of a clunky effort to soften his demands?

It won’t be easy for the two sides to find a middle ground, especially with the top of the quarterback market now featuring a spread of roughly $20 million among the 10 highest-paid players. Murray, who fought through an ankle injury late last year, wants his payday while he’s still healthy enough to get it. The Cardinals won’t want to assume the nine figures in injury risk for an undersized quarterback whose game changes dramatically when his mobility is limited.

Is there a middle ground? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, Murray’s mindset surely will be influenced by the lessons learned during Mayfield’s misadventures with a historically dysfunctional franchise that may have dysfunctioned up the first phase of Mayfield’s career.

25 responses to “Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray friendship could influence Murray’s situation with Cardinals

  1. I used to pull for cleveland football. Now they are the bottom of the list for me. Epic mistreatment of an employee who gave you everything on the field. And to top it off…you give watson a chance and huge money. Cleveland sucks.

  2. The DeShawn Watson demand to be traded will have greater impact. He got paid for not playing and then cashed in with a fully guaranteed contract.

  3. I wouldn’t tie up long term money in a QB who always seems to be getting hurt and slowed down by nagging injuries…

  4. Their friendship seems to be putting limits on both of them. Probably time to get new friends.

  5. Both were very successful in college, average so far in the NFL. Both were chosen first overall, and inherited an inflated view of themselves. You add up character issues, and height, which represents a real problem in an NFL pocket, so it’s difficult for them to justify top tier money. Hard work, away from the media, is the only way, and they should embrace the challenge, by appreciating the boatload of money they made so far.

  6. Different situations. Baker led the Browns to the best season they have had since the 80’s
    He gets injured in 21 and played his heart out anyway. There was no talk of a holdout because Baker is a team guy. He’s learning what commitment is worth in the NFL The Browns did him dirty, but it’s not the first or last time that will happen

  7. Murray has not been “average” in the NFL. His stats suffered last year when he was injured but he’s been a top 25% qb when healthy.

  8. Murray’s game changed when Hopkins got hurt, Hopkins seem to be the only one with enough talent to make up for Murray’s poor throwing and reading defenses ability (same deal with a former Texans QB).

    The mistake with drafting both as the first pick is they came out of a school that had superior talent to the other teams for a large majority of the games and it is really easy to look very good when the receiver has 10 yards of space to catch a ball (the Big 12 is well known for very limited defense) and almost no pass rushers. Neither has shown the ability to adapt to the pro-game where a 1/2 yard of space is considered wide open with only a second or two to make the correct decision before getting hit. In the next few years Baker will either be a back-up in the NFL or starting for a USFL team and Murray will be on a triple A team trying to show he has the skill for the Major League.

  9. Baker got screwed by the Browns…just no way around that. Hard to believe that Deshaun Watson is the “adult” they want at QB. As for Murray, I’d tell him not to play another down before he gets his money, but at the same time the Cards have to be cautious given what they have seen. I would not pay him top QB money. If he declines then trade him. He is not a top QB.

  10. Shorty can’t see from the pocket., as A Rams fan, I think the Cardinals should lock him up at 40 big ones a year with Kidd Kingsbury as his HC. No wonder Sean Mcvay feels revitalized

  11. Kyler Murray has told people he WILL NOT PLAY if the Cards don’t extend him before training camp.
    So the tail is trying to wag the dog. Let Him Sit.
    The kid has talent,… but he’s no top 10 – 12 QB in the NFL. Not even close.

  12. Jordan Love to the Cardinals for a 2nd round pick.
    If Love was in this draft,… he’d be the number 1 QB in the draft.

  13. Top 25% qb when healthy? So one of the best 8 QBs? No. I think we can all name 8 QBs we would rather have. But for fun I will start, Mahomes, Brady, Burrow, Allen, Herbert, Stafford, Rodgers, Jackson, Wilson, & Ryan. Sorry that’s ten but you get the point. He’s definitely in the top 50% (16) if that helps you sleep at night.

  14. Neither is as good as they think they are. They are above average but have an inflated sense of worth based on their draft status. If they were 3-4th round picks with the same resume their asking price would be less. They are what they are now. Draft position should not factor into their contract status. They should get contracts at the mid tier level as that is how they have performed. Yes, they have had some outstanding games and statistics. With the way the rules are now every QB can say that. Did anyone that watched AZ play the Rams in the playoffs this year think Murray was a top tier QB?

  15. He has most certainly been average. The guy hasn’t even thrown for 4k yards in a season and his TD/Int ratio is roughly 2/1. What’s worse is that his numbers are the relative in all 3 years. Where’s the progression? Other than completion percentage I don’t see any.

    Top 25% really? So top 8? Let’s see…Rodgers, Brady, Wilson, Mahommes, Allen, Herbert, Burrow, Stafford….keep going? Ok, Dak, Watson. I’d even put a 36 year old Matt Ryan ahead of him. If you consider him a QB, Lamar Jackson’s another. Cousins is even statistically superior, cmon. Where we at now?

  16. Yeah Kyler, listen to Baker and take his advice on how to manage your future. It’s working out wonderfully.

  17. There won’t be another Watson contract. The Haslams are the owners desperate and stupid enough to sign such a contract. They were “smart enough” to let OBJ go as a free agent and got NOTHING!! They’re going to do the same thing with a former 1st draft choice and probably eat part of $19 million!! The Browns are not the Rams, who were one player away from a Super Bowl. The Browns also gave up 3 first round draft picks!! When this blows up, they won’t be able to rebuild for 4 years!! The Long Suffering Browns fans still have a lot of suffering ahead due to a string of incompetent Owners and their GMs!!!

  18. Murray’s game changed when Hopkins got hurt, Hopkins seem to be the only one with enough talent to make up for Murray’s poor throwing and reading defenses ability (same deal with a former Texans QB).

    Dude what? Watson’s best statistical year by far was in 2020, the year he was without DHop. He led the league that year.

  19. mrdaz says:
    April 15, 2022 at 11:18 am
    I wouldn’t tie up long term money in a QB who always seems to be getting hurt and slowed down by nagging injuries…

    ————————————————————

    Not to mention he struggles when faced with adversity.

  20. The relationship these 2 have reminds me of the ex gf who talks behind your back with your current gf without u knowing it

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