Matthew Stafford is entering a contract year after coming off of a Super Bowl win, and yet we haven’t seen any “letters” from his agent demanding a commitment to winning more championships if the Los Angeles Rams ever want to see their franchise quarterback ever again.
This makes Stafford somewhat of a rarity among NFC West quarterbacks.
One year after Russell Wilson’s agent released a list of four teams that the Seattle Seahawks quarterback would be willing to be traded to, Kyler Murray’s agent has sent out a list of his own. Except this one has demands. As sent out on Twitter via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Murray’s agent Erik Burkhardt wrote a strongly worded letter to fans of the Arizona Cardinals on Monday.
Murray and Burkhardt have announced that it is not up to them, but up to the Cardinals, to make Arizona’s fans happy for the long-term future of the team. Nevermind that Kyler Murray signed a four-year deal with a team fifth-year option when he was drafted into the NFL in 2019, just like every other first round pick. Not good enough for the guy who spurned the Oakland Athletics three years ago after he was a high draft pick in the MLB.
What’s the difference between Murray asking for a new contract this year and Matthew Stafford essentially demanding that the Detroit Lions trade him to a better team last year? Well, Stafford was asking for better help around him so that he could win a Super Bowl. Murray is asking for more money.
That’s it. That’s the difference.
Aaron Rodgers and Wilson also appear to be mostly seeking better arrangements and although I don’t doubt financial motivations too, they’re both Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks who have earned some right to call their own shots or walk away. Kyler Murray and his agent laid out a few accomplishments on his three-year resume, including making the Pro Bowl roster, but they conveniently leave out other facts.
Like that Kyler Murray has zero career playoff wins and that in his lone playoff start—against the Rams—he had two interceptions and averaged 4 yards per attempt in a 34-11 loss.
Or that Murray was injured in the middle of the 2021 season and that when he returned, he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL as Arizona went 2-4 in their final six games. This also coincided with the team losing wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, implying that Murray is not able to carry the team on his shoulders like was insinuated in the first half of the season.
If I’m the Cardinals, I’m making calls to trade Kyler Murray. Right now. Before Rodgers, Wilson, and Deshaun Watson could potentially get moved.
Would the New York Giants like to swap out their 2019 first round QB (Daniel Jones) for the QB who went five picks earlier that year? The Giants hold two picks in the top-seven this year.
What about the Philadelphia Eagles, who have three first round picks and Jalen Hurts?
How about the Houston Texans, as they search for a Deshaun Watson replacement? Or the Detroit Lions, holders of the Rams’ first round picks in each of the next two drafts?
I also wouldn’t be concerned about keeping Kyler Murray in the NFC. A franchise quarterback’s job is to elevate every other player on the team around him, not so much to focus on himself. Monday’s move to make a public plea for the Cardinals to either pay up with two years remaining on his rookie deal—earlier than almost every other team pays a true franchise quarterback and with zero playoff wins or notable accomplishments—or “blame the franchise” is not something that seems likely to result in team wins in the future.
The Rams had Jared Goff as the quarterback 13 months ago and that may have pinned them as the fourth-place team in the NFC West. Now all of a sudden, Wilson, Murray, and Jimmy Garoppolo all look like they could potentially be playing in new divisions in 2022.