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Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kyler Murray’s new contract extension reportedly contains a clause that requires the quarterback to study film for at least four hours a week during the season, according to The Guardian.
The news was first reported by NFL Network. A source who has seen the contract subsequently confirmed the story to ESPN.
Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, signed the five-year, $230m extension with the Arizona Cardinals last week. According to ESPN, if he fails to study the required amount of film he will “be deemed to be in default” of his contract. The clause is active from the start of this season through to 2028.
Kyler Murray didn’t put in on the group project but wants equal credit.
The contract requires the 24-year-old to study “material provided to him by the Club in order to prepare for the Club’s next upcoming game.” Time spent in mandatory team meetings does not count towards his four hours and he must “personally study the provided material in good faith.”
The clause also says Murray will not be credited if he fails to pay attention to the film while it plays on his tablet, or if he plays video games, surfs the internet or watches TV during study sessions.
Teams regularly insert clauses into players’ contracts requiring them to reach certain weight or fitness goals. However, it is believed that the film clause in Murray’s contract is the first of its kind.
Doug Williams ran so Kyler Murray could fly – not scroll.
Warren Moon, now a Hall of Famer, had to play Canadian football in the early 80s due to the irrational and racist beliefs held by NFL coaches and front offices that Black players simply didn’t have the mental dexterity to perform at the Quarterback position. Because of their racist feelings, many highly capable and deserving Blacks were overlooked or forced to switch positions that require less mental aptitude. In 2018, Baltimore Ravens superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson went through the same prejudice in positioning, proving the longstanding belief that Black men aren’t smart enough for the position has lasted as long as the NFL itself.
Modern athletes get paid astronomical numbers while assuming none of the risks of their predecessors. As the first Black man to win Super Bowl MVP, Doug Williams had to continuously prove himself on his way to NFL dominance in 1988. Yet regardless of strides made by Cam Newton, Teddy Bridgewater, Russell Wilson, or the like, the NFL has long been prejudiced against its own players.
Hell, it wasn’t until recently that retired Black football players were seen as equal to their White counterparts, according to the NFL’s $1 billion concussion settlement. In June, the league had agreed to halt the use of race-norming, which assumes Black players start with lower cognitive function, making it harder to show they suffer from a mental deficit linked to their playing days. The NFL originally assumed we were less intelligent and by purposely not studying or knowing the game plan, Murray disrespects his predecessors who had to be perfect so he now can be mediocre.
Michael Vick, as amazing as he was, admitted after his playing days that he lacked focus and even called himself “lazy.” Naturally gifted athletes like Murray and Vick electrify the senses, dazzle the eye, and inspire children and adults alike, but choosing not to study is choosing to feed into the very damning stereotypes which were once used to prohibit Black men from assuming the coveted position in the first place.
As Brian Flores fights in court for more Black head coaching positions and Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned by a team, Murray gets a hefty bag with the biggest string ever attached to it. The fact that the Arizona Cardinals felt compelled to add studying stipulations into the language for Kyler Murray is a stain on his record and one he’ll have to work to replace with the only thing that matters in pro football: Wins.