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The Arizona Cardinals announced late Thursday night that they would be removing the “independent study” clause from Kyler Murray’s $230.5 million contract extension after the controversial stipulation prompted the quarterback to call criticism of his work ethic “disrespectful.”
The Cardinals released a statement calling the controversy a “distraction” that was misinterpreted.
“After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract,” the statement read, according to multiple reports. “It was clearly perceived in ways that were never intended.”
“Our confidence in Kyler Murray is as high as it’s ever been and nothing demonstrates our belief in his ability to lead his team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”
The initial five-year extension deal mandated that Murray have at least four hours of “independent study” during game weeks. The clause prompted reactions from those in the league including Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers who expressed a bit of shock.
“I think I just raised my eyebrows up like this,” Rodgers said while demonstrating. “That was the reaction. Yeah, I was happy to see him get paid. One thing I did see was I think his average salary per year was about on par with the salary cap of the Oakland Athletics, so I think he can definitely smile knowing he made the right choice.”
The controversy led Murray to hold an impromptu news conference when he took offense to those questioning his work ethic because of the stipulation in his contract – which at the time, was still intact.
“To think I can accomplish everything I’ve accomplished in my career and not be a student of the game, and not have that passion and not take this serious, it’s disrespectful and almost a joke,” Murray said. “I’m honestly flattered that y’all think that, at my size, I can go out there and not prepare for the game and not take it serious.”
Murray defended himself, saying his success is not something that comes naturally.
“I’m not 6-7, 230, and I don’t throw the ball 85 yards,” he said. “I’m already behind the 8-ball and can’t afford to take any shortcuts.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.