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Kyler Murray agreed last week to a $230 million contract extension making him the second-highest paid player in the NFL by average annual salary.
It turns out that he needs to do his homework, or it could become void.
On Monday, Murray actually signed the contract. Meanwhile, a clause of the deal leaked that includes specific language requiring the Arizona Cardinals quarterback to commit to four hours of uninterrupted homework per week during the season.
Per the clause filed under the heading: "Independent Study Addendum between Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray."
"Player shall complete at least four (4) hours of Independent Study (as defined below) each week (excluding any bye week) during each Playing Season (as defined below) during the term of the Contact."
So what does "Independent Study" entail? The contract continues:
"'Independent Study' means Player studies the material provided to him by the Club in order to prepare for the Club's next upcoming game, including without limitation any such material provided via an iPad or other electronic device. Time spent in mandatory meetings shall not constitute Independent Study. Player shall receive no credit for Independent Study for any period which Player does not personally study the provided material in good faith."
What doesn't "Independent Study" entail? Again, the contract explains:
"Player shall not receive any credit for Independent Study with respect to any time periods during which any material is displayed on an iPad or other electronic device if (a) Player is not personally studying or watching the material while it is being displayed or played or (b) Player is engaged in any other activity that may distract his attention (for example, watching television, playing video games or browsing the internet) while such material is being displayed or played."
If that sounds to you like the Cardinals aren't impressed with Murray's off-field work habits, you might be right. Let Yahoo Sports senior NFL writer Charles Robinson explain:
If Murray did it on his own to the satisfaction of the team, there would be no need for a written provision in his deal. It’s nonsensical to create a clause for a standard a player meets on their own, unless you’re afraid they’ll stop meeting it or they haven’t met it previously. https://t.co/7IqENhYR4F
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) July 25, 2022
So why might the Cardinals not be impressed with Murray's off-field work habits? Well, let him explain as he did to the New York Times in December:
“I think I was blessed with the cognitive skills to just go out there and just see it before it happens,” Murray said. “I’m not one of those guys that’s going to sit there and kill myself watching film. I don’t sit there for 24 hours and break down this team and that team and watch every game because, in my head, I see so much.”
The NYT profile continued:
Sometimes, when he needs a break, he turns his eyes elsewhere, either to video games or to his favorite movie: “The Great Gatsby.”
So how exactly are the Cardinals going to verify his commitment to "Independent Study?" That much isn't clear. But the consequences of his failing to follow through are. Again, from the contract:
"In the event Player breaches this Addendum in any respect, at any time during the term of the Contract, Player shall be deemed in Default, as the term is defined in Paragraph 27 of the Contract."