Kyler Murray Responds to Online Criticism as ‘Nonsense’
Kyler Murray has broken his silence.
A week after he deleted all references to the Cardinals on his social media accounts, which created all sorts of speculation, responses and at least one critical report from an ESPN insider on Sunday that the Cardinals quarterback was “self-centered” and “immature” and a “finger pointer,” Murray responded Monday afternoon with a statement via Twitter and Instagram.
“I play this game out of love, my teammates, everyone who helped me get to this position that believed in me and won championships,” the Cardinals quarterback wrote. “All that nonsense isn’t who I am, never was, never will be. Anyone who’s ever crossed those lines with me knows how far I go.
“Love me or hate me, but I will continue to grow and improve.”
Murray’s statement is accompanied by a photo of him in a Cardinals uniform standing on the sidelines, presumably before a game. The statement didn’t explain why he deleted the team from his Twitter and Instagram accounts, but the response was likely prompted by the criticism he received following a TV interview and some tweets from Chris Mortensen d ‘ESPN Sunday before Super Bowl 56.
Mortenson wrote that there had been a “strange vibe” between Murray and the Cardinals and cited unnamed sources describing the third-year pro as “egocentric, immature and (a) finger-pointing.” Mortenson went on to write that Murray “is frustrated with the franchise and was embarrassed” by the NFC Wild Card team’s loss to the Rams and “believes he has been cast as the scapegoat.”
Mortensen also wrote, however, that the Cardinals “expect things to calm down” and that Murray will continue to quarterback for Arizona. He added: “Some veterans are hoping to reach Murray and how (to) handle adversity better. Coach Kliff Kingsbury is also self-scouring where he can provide better alternatives for (the) QB.
Maybe Murray’s statement on Monday came after talking to Kingsbury or a few veteran players on the Cardinals’ roster. Perhaps his agent, Erik Burkhardt, who also represents Kingsbury, suggested the idea. Then again, it could have just been Murray’s decision on his own, realizing that the speculation and rumors were starting to spiral out of control.
However, there’s no denying that all eyes will be on Murray and the Cardinals this offseason. Murray, the first pick in the 2019 draft, is eligible for a contract extension. The Cardinals must decide if they want to make him one of the highest-paid players in the league or if they’d rather wait and just pick his fifth-year option, which they have until May 2 to do.
Neither Murray nor the Cardinals have publicly indicated anything about the status of contract negotiations, but NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported Sunday that the Cardinals apparently have issues with Murray at the moment.
“I know they’re looking for Murray to step up in a number of areas,” Garafolo said on NFL GameDay Morning. “We talk about maturity, body language on the sidelines, having a bigger voice with teammates and leadership.”
Without naming names, Garafolo also said several Cardinals members were upset Murray didn’t complete Arizona’s Wild Card loss to the Rams, in which he threw two interceptions, including one that was dismissed for a touchdown. Backup quarterback Colt McCoy came into the game late and gave the ball twice to running back Eno Benjamin.
“There’s a minute left, the game has been decided and substitute Colt McCoy encouraged Murray to finish the game with his teammates,” Garafolo said. “But a battered Murray said no. I know a lot of people from the Cardinals weren’t happy with that one.
The Cardinals released a statement Sunday in support of their relationship with Murray, the former Offensive Rookie of the Year and two-time Pro Bowl selection.
“Nothing has changed regarding our opinion and high regard for Kyler Murray,” the statement read. “As a team and Kyler individually, we’ve improved every year he’s been in the league. We’re excited to continue that improvement in 2022 and we’re thrilled to have Kyler Murray as the quarterback leading us.”