Cardinals remove controversial study clause from Kyler Murray contract

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The Arizona Cardinals have removed a controversial "independent study" clause from Kyler Murray's new contract after the quarterback gave an impassioned response to questions about his preparation and work ethic.

NFL.com reported the addendum to the five-year, $230.5million extension earlier this week.

The clause stipulated that the two-time Pro Bowler must watch a minimum of four hours of game film on his own every week during the season over the life of the deal, and the Cardinals could void the contract if Murray did not meet the terms of the agreement.

"After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract," the Cardinals have now said in a statement. "It was clearly perceived in ways that were never intended.

"Our confidence in Kyler Murray is as high as it's ever been and nothing demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract."

The public revelation of the clause prompted the usually reserved Murray to call an unscheduled press conference on Thursday in which the 2019 number one overall pick lashed out against suggestions he was not properly preparing for his duties.

"I refuse to let my work ethic, my preparation be in question," Murray stated. "I've put in incomprehensible amount of time and blood, sweat and tears and work into what I do.

"To those of you out there who believe that I'd be standing here today in front of you all without having a work ethic and without preparing – I'm honoured that you think that, but it doesn't exist. It's not possible.

"To think that I can accomplish everything that I've accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game and not have that passion, not take this seriously is almost... it's disrespectful and it's almost a joke."

Murray agreed to the extension, which will make him the NFL's second-highest-paid player in terms of average annual salary behind only two-time reigning league MVP Aaron Rodgers, last week. The contract contains $160m in guarantees and will run from 2024 through 2028.

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner is coming off his best season in which he finished second in the NFL in completion percentage (69.2) and posted a career-high 100.6 passer rating while helping the Cardinals reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Murray's play dropped off during the second half of the year, however, and he also struggled with a no-touchdown, two-interception performance in the Cardinals' 34-11 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the opening round of the playoffs.

Arizona began last season 7-0 but lost five of the 24-year-old's next seven starts, with Murray producing an 86.5 passer rating during that stretch after recording a 116.8 rating over the first seven games.

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