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Kyler Murray Contract: Numbers and Interpretations

Inside the Contract Numbers:

Per Kyler Murray Current Contract

Kyler Murray signed a 5 year, $230,500,000 contract with the Arizona Cardinals, including a $29,035,000 signing bonus, $160,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $46,100,000. In 2022, Murray will earn a base salary of $965,000 and a signing bonus of $29,035,000, while carrying a cap hit of $12,669,481 and a dead cap value of $110,197,481.


  • $230M —- appears to be the new benchmark for franchise QBs —- Cardinals gave Kyler $230.5, which is $500K more than Deshaun Watson.
  • $46.1M a year average —- only Aaron Rodgers makes more.
  • $30M in 1st year of deal, due largely to a $29.035 signing bonus (Josh Allen got $20M, Patrick Mahomes got #10.9M)
  • $107.85M in first 3 years of deal (Allen got $97M, Mahomes got $63.9M)
  • $161.7M in injury guarantees (Allen got $150M, Mahomes got $141.8M, while Deshaun Watson got $230M)
  • Cap Hits: 2022 —- $12.7M; 2023 —- $16M; 2024 —-$51.9M; 2025 —- $45.6M; 2026 —- $55.5;
  • Potential Outs: 2027 —- $43.5M (only $7M in dead cap); 2028 —- $46.4 ($0 in dead cap)


  • The Cardinals wanted Kyler Murray’s contract to transcend the Deshaun Watson, Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes benchmarks in pretty much everything but Watson’s $230M in guaranteed money. This was a big win for Kyler and Erik Burkhardt.
  • When asked about Kyler’s contract, Patrick Mahomes said, “I already make enough money.”
  • Kyler’s deal includes over $10M in off-season workout incentives. This is an indication that the Cardinals want to see and ensure that Kyler be a more consistent off-season presence in the building and training facility.
  • Interesting to learn that it was Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury who traveled to Texas to meet with Kyler and his parents in order to try to come to a stronger understanding of what it would take for Kyler to re-sign and for Keim and Kingsbury to ensure that Kyler would honor his end of the bargain.
  • During the presser Steve Keim revealed that he and Michael Bidwill engaged in a few 3:30 am conversations. This, combined with Kliff Kingsbury’s impassioned plea at the end of mini-camp for Kyler’s deal to get done before training camp, possibly conforms that the one person standing in the way of a deal all along was Michael Bidwill.
  • It was odd not to see Michael Bidwill at the press conference, but he is currently on vacation.
  • With Kyler signed through 2028 (which if you look at the numbers, 2027 and 2028 are likely going to be re-negotation years), Kyler’s contract is perfectly aligned with Steve Keim’s and Kliff Kingsbury’s through the 2027 season.
  • Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury are hitching their wagons to Kyler Murray. Therefore, as Kyler goes, Keim and Kingsbury go. The onus is squarely on all three. The good news for them is the luxury of relying on the security of multi-year contracts with millions guaranteed.
  • Michael Bidwill would have to eat those salaries should he at some point want to make changes at GM, HC and/or QB.
  • Steve Keim said that he believes Kyler’s input on player personnel suggestions is invaluable and lauds Kyler’s ability to evaluate talent. One might imagine that during the negotiations Kyler was given some assurances that, as with the trade for Hollywood Brown, he will have some clout in the FO’s decision making process. Heck, Keim and Kyler even donned matching blue suits!
  • There has not been a mention of a no-trade clause. It would be interesting to know if either side wanted one.

Those are my interpretations. What are yours?

I am also sensing that Steve Keim appears to have more authority in running the organization than ever before. Do you agree?