Cardinals pick up fifth-year option on QB Kyler Murray

With drama swirling around Kyler Murray, the Arizona Cardinals improved their security regarding the quarterback on Wednesday.

As expected, Arizona picked up the fifth-year option on Murray's rookie contract, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim indicated in early March that the team would pick up Murray's option, which locks the quarterback in for nearly $30 million in 2023 -- an escalation due to Murray making two Pro Bowls -- Rapoport added.

The option also means Murray is under team control through the next two seasons, alleviating some of the immediate pressure to strike a long-term deal with the quarterback. Murray's representation hasn't been bashful about desiring a more lucrative contract for the quarterback, who is electric when at his best running the Cardinals' offense.

There is, of course, the flip side of the coin for Murray, who has struggled to stay healthy through a full season and has fizzled down the stretch in each of the last two seasons. Arizona hasn't yet presented a serious offer to Murray, instead opting to continue with the current contract in place.

Earlier this month, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Murray is not expected to play in 2022 unless he receives a new contract. With the fifth-year option active, Murray is less likely to simply wait for his current deal to expire before receiving free-agency freedom, meaning it's possible both sides dig in further with little action on a new deal.

For the Cardinals, it always made sense to pick up the option and add security to their current contractual situation with Murray. It's unlikely to change their current positions on the matter.

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