‘Disrespectful, and it’s almost a joke’

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray made an impromptu visit to the media room on Thursday to defend himself after questions about his study habits percolated following the so-called “homework” clause in his new contract becoming public.

Murray said that he took issue with the idea that some think he could have made it this far without adequately studying and preparing for games.

“I feel it’s necessary, you know, with what’s going on regarding me and the things that are being said about me,” Murray told reporters. “To think that I can accomplish everything that I have accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game and not have that passion and not take this serious is disrespectful, and it’s almost a joke. To me, I’m flattered. I want to say flattered that you all think that at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game, and not take it serious. It’s disrespectful, I feel like, to my peers, to all the great athletes and great players that are in this league. This game is too hard. To play the position that I play in this league, it’s too hard.”

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that an addendum in Murray’s new $230.5 million extension requires the QB to “complete at least four (4) hours of independent study” during game weeks. The clause states that Murray will not receive credit for the independent study if he “is not personally studying or watching the material while it is being displayed or played” or if the player is involved in activities that could distract his attention (i.e. television, video games or browsing the internet).

Rapoport reported Thursday on Inside Training Camp Live that Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill believed the clause was a necessary part of the extension.

“Clearly the Arizona Cardinals, specifically Michael Bidwill believed that this was something that should be in the contract,” Rapoport said. “From my understanding, the thinking from Bidwill and the Arizona Cardinals organization was this: We are committing to Kyler Murray at a place where we maybe feel a little uncomfortable going just money-wise. I’m not saying they felt uncomfortable giving him the money, just literally anyone $46 million-plus per year. They wanted some assurances that he’s going to continue to work, continue to perform at the level that is necessary, and the kind of level that deserves that contract. That is why this clause was in there. Kyler Murray knew it before he signed it.”

Murray declined to answer Thursday whether he was upset at the team for putting the homework clause in the contract.

An avid gamer, Murray also took issue with his study habits being questioned. The two-sport athlete, Heisman Trophy winner, Offensive Rookie of the Year recipient and two-time Pro Bowler said he wouldn’t have accomplished all he has up to now with poor study practices.

“I’ve put in an incomprehensible amount of time, blood, sweat, tears and work into what I do, whether it’s football or baseball,” Murray said. “People can’t comprehend the amount of time that it takes to do two sports at a high level in college. Let alone be the first person to do it ever at my size, like I said, it’s funny, but to those of you out there that believe I would be standing here today in front of y’all without having a work ethic and without preparing, I’m honored that you think that. But it doesn’t exist. It’s not possible, so that’s all I have on that.”

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