Murray arrived at Arizona’s facility on Tuesday to work out ahead of Wednesday’s practice, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported.
Murray’s return to the team is not an indication a contract extension is imminent, but is instead a “show of good faith” discussions on a new deal will pick up, Garafolo added.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury previously said he expected Murray to attend the team’s mandatory June minicamp, stressing that OTAs were voluntary.
Murray has repeatedly appeared atop the news cycle this offseason, scrubbing his Instagram page of all Cardinals references earlier in 2022, then watching his agent, Erik Burkhardt, release a lengthy statement making clear Murray’s desire to remain with the Cardinals while also indicating a desire to receive a contract extension befitting a franchise quarterback.
Murray eventually downplayed any concern about his future with the team in late March, but NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported just three weeks later that Murray is not expected to play unless he receives a new contract.
Arizona wisely picked up the fifth-year option on Murray’s rookie contract in late April, guaranteeing some financial security beyond 2022 in the event Murray were to sit out. Even without the uncertainty, it would have been a no-brainer move, and it also eliminated a decent amount of Murray’s leverage if the situation devolved into a standoff.
Evidently, Murray and the Cardinals are not headed in that direction. Murray’s attendance is somewhat of an olive branch extended to the franchise with the hopes they’ll be more willing to seriously discuss an extension for a quarterback on whom they both spent the no. 1 overall pick and for whom they jettisoned former first-round selection Josh Rosen after just one season.
The biggest hurdles that remain are both financial and emotional. Arizona has to weigh just how much it values Murray, the player, and the franchise quarterback who has struggled down the stretch in each of the last two seasons, contributing to consecutive meltdowns in the final month of both campaigns. Arizona took a step closer toward its goal in 2021 by reaching the postseason, but the bitter taste of a blowout defeat at the hands of a rival division isn’t washed away that easily.
If the two sides end up bridging their existing gap, it will be the culmination of a process that began with Murray’s arrival for workouts. As always, stay tuned.