Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Moon, who played for the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings, described the Arizona Cardinals’ ‘homework clause’ for quarterback Kyler Murray “a slap in the face to all African American quarterbacks.”
As noted by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Murray’s contract with the Arizona Cardinals called for Murray to “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 contract.”
An Independent Study was defined in the contract to mean a “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.”
It continues, “Player shall receive no credit for Independent Study for any period during which Player does not personally study the provided material in good faith. For the avoidance of doubt, Player shall not receive an 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.”
Rapoport later explained the clause writing, “Kyler Murray does 4 hours of game studying on his own, anyway And similar to the team wanting him around for the offseason as the face of the franchise, AZ wanted a commitment in writing while going to a certain place money-wise. Thus, the clause.”
Murray would address the press regarding the clause saying, “To think that I can accomplish everything that 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 it’s almost a joke.”
“To me — I’m flattered — 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. It’s disrespectful 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,” Murray continued.
He then listed off all of his accolades beginning with his undefeated record in high school.
After listing off his accomplishments, Murray then addressed his film habits, “To the film side of things. There’s multiple different ways to watch film. There’s many different ways to process the game. There’s many different ways quarterbacks learn the game and break the game down.”
“Of course I watch film by myself. That’s a given. That doesn’t even need to be said,” he stated. “But I do enjoy and love the process of watching the game with my guys, the quarterbacks, my coaches. I think you can ask any quarterback in the league.”
Towards the end of his address, Murray asserted, “I refuse to let my work ethic, my preparation be in question. I’ve put in incomprehensible amount of time and blood, sweat, tears, and work into what I do whether it’s football or baseball.”
“People can’t even comprehend to do two sports at a high level in college let alone do it — be the first person to do it ever at my size. This is — it’s funny,” he noted.
“But I know to those of you out there that believe that I’d 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. It’s not possible,” he concluded.
The Arizona Cardinals would eventually remove the clause from the contract issuing the following statement, “After seeing the distraction it created, we removed the addendum from the contract. 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 this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”
Moon reacted to the clause in the contract while speaking to TMZ Sports telling the outlet, “First of all, it’s just an unfortunate situation. It’s an embarrassing situation for not only the player, Kyler Murray, but it’s embarrassing for the organization to have to deal with this.”
“I think it shows a lack of trust in the player that you even have to put something in a contract like this,” he continued. “It also is slap in the face to all African American quarterbacks because that’s something that we were always accused of, back in the day when they didn’t let us play. Is that we were lazy. That we didn’t study. That we couldn’t be leaders. That we weren’t smart.”
So all those different things just kind of came to the surface after we had put all that stuff to bed over the year just because of this deal that’s gone on between Arizona and Kyler. Again, very embarrassing.
Reacting to the clause being removed, Moon said, “I see they took the clause out of his contract now, but it’s too late the damage has been done. He’ll have this riding on him every time he does something wrong in a football game. They’re going to say, ‘See, that’s the reason why that happened. It’s because he didn’t study enough film last week.’ Or whatever it may be.”
“It’s a very unfortunate situation for him. And very embarrassing for both sides,” he reiterated.
What do you make of Moon’s comments about the clause in Kyler Murray’s contract?