Will homework clause drive a wedge between the Cardinals and Kyler Murray?

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The dust has begun to settle on the much-discussed Kyler Murray homework clause. So here’s the question: Will the team’s apparent insistence on reducing a requirement of four hours of study per week to writing (and having it become one of the biggest stories in the league) create a problem for team and player that won’t be easily resolved?

The prevailing theory in league circles is that the team demanded the provision. Some wonder whether it was a dealbreaker, that the Cardinals would have refused to do the contract without it. The Cardinals declined a request from PFT to discuss the specifics of the matter; we had asked for five minutes with owner Michael Bidwill, who ultimately makes the call on issues such as this. A former lawyer, Bidwill definitely reviewed every word of the provision. (There’s a chance he actually wrote it.)

Murray’s new contract lasts seven years. It has great cash flow in the short term. Even without the homework clause, Murray was likely to conclude in three or four years that the contract should be replaced. With the homework clause, and the kerfuffle that it sparked, Murray could eventually decide to make a power play not for a new deal but for a new team.

Some would ask a fairly basic question. Why did Murray sign the contract if he didn’t want to commit to the homework clause?

The easy answer is that he was due to make roughly $5 million this year. Signing the contract unlocked nine figures of fully-guaranteed money (as long as he does his homework). The more complicated answer is that, if he’d walked away, there’s a good chance that the terms he rejected would have leaked. There’s a good chance that his refusal to sign the deal over the homework clause would have leaked. As bad as the homework clause makes Murray look, turning down $46.1 million per year in new money and refusing to agree to spend at least four hours per week preparing for the next opponent would have made him look even worse.

The real question is whether Murray (regardless of whatever he says publicly) will be privately miffed that the Cardinals put him in a position that required him to have to agree to a term that he didn’t want in the deal and then to have it become something that made him look like he wasn’t working hard enough. It could linger. It could fester. It could become the first domino that leads to a divorce.

15 responses to “Will homework clause drive a wedge between the Cardinals and Kyler Murray?

  1. Physically gifted, but too immature to be a champion in any stretch of the imagination.

  2. Well I think it’s safe to assume that if Kyler isn’t reading his homework that he isn’t reading any of this criticism either

  3. Cards: 50 million dollars a year agreed to do 4 hours of America went home work each week during the 17 games of the season

    Murray: I am angry, that’s too much to

  4. Cards: we will pay 50 million dollars a year if you agree to do 4 hours of owners

    A – deal!!

    B – I am angry , that is too demanding

    I vote for A.

    Anyone who selects B is not the one you want is your quarterback

  5. At some point I bet Murray hits the cardinals with the old “I’m taking my ball and going home”. Game over.

  6. Would he have signed the contract if that provision was going to drive a wedge? Or maybe he just didn’t read the contract and his agent was on the same page and never read the provision either?

  7. I’m pretty sure that he agreed to the clause because he was just fine with it under the circumstances. It’s not as if it’s calling for 20+ hours a week.

  8. So here’s the choices….

    1. He was already doing this on his own, so its no biggie to codify it in a contract.


    2. He found out what he needs to do to get paid, and realized that 4 hours per week (about 35 minutes per day M-F or 48 minutes per day Monday – Friday) was a silly place to draw a line at.

    Bottom line is – he is now getting $160 million guaranteed just for agreeing to do 4 hours a week. If he performs on the field fans will forget. And if he doesnt? Well, he has enough money to never have to worry again. There is no reason for him to be upset over this.

  9. Give the disfuctional fractured nature of the negotiation, it’s quite possible Murray just didn’t understand the how insulting the homework clause was. He certainly doesn’t understand why it was needed. In his mind he is one of the elite pocket passer which his self described superior cognitive prowness gives him. The failure of the Cards to win was, and is, not his fault. It was everyone else’s failure.

  10. I am not a murray fan, but I don’t like how much stuff gets released to the press by this team. You drafted this guy and gave him the organization’s largest contract eever. Why go out of your way to make him look bad? I always suspected the were the team that released Allen’s tweets the day of the 2018 draft. Cards liked Allen and didn’t have the picks to jump the bills.

  11. Imagine being upset about a contract that stipulates that you work hard to be better at your job while paying you obscene amounts of money.
    I’d fire any employee who had a problem with that.

  12. They saw something or it would not have been in contract, and he did sign it.

  13. If this issue causes problems between the two, then they run a heck of a lot deeper than a 4 hour/wk homework clause.

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