Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon has slammed the ‘independent study’ clause originally included in Kyler Murray’s contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals, chastising the language as a ‘slap in the face to all quarterbacks -African-American fullbacks.
Moon made the comment to TMZ for an article published Sunday while discussing Murray’s $230 million extension that makes him the NFL’s second-highest-paid player by annual salary. When Murray signed the deal last week, a clause in the contract was leaked stating that Murray must complete “a minimum of four (4) hours of independent study each week during each playing season for the duration of the contact.”
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The clause also prohibited Murray from engaging in distractions such as television and video games while conducting his independent study at the risk of defaulting on his contract. Moon, a pioneering black quarterback who played for the Houston Oilers and other NFL teams in the 1980s and 90s, told TMZ the clause was “embarrassing” and harkens back to the days “when they wouldn’t let us play.”
“It’s just an unfortunate situation,” Moon said. “It’s an embarrassing situation not only for 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.
“It’s also a slap in the face for all African-American quarterbacks. It’s something we’ve always been accused of back when they wouldn’t let us play. That we were lazy, that we didn’t study, that we couldn’t be leaders, that we weren’t smart. So all of these different things kind of came up after we put all of this to bed over the years and just because of this deal between Arizona and Kyler. »
Murray: ‘Disrespectful and almost a joke’
The clause caused an uproar in NFL circles with its response drawing criticism from Murray himself.
“To think that 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 that seriously is disrespectful and it’s almost a joke,” said Murray to reporters last week.
Amid the uproar, the Cardinals withdrew the clause from the contract on Thursday, four days after he fled.
“After seeing the distraction this created, we have removed the endorsement from the contract,” a statement from the Cardinals read. “It was clearly perceived in a way that was never intended.
“Our confidence in Kyler Murray is higher than it has ever been and nothing demonstrates our confidence in his ability to lead this team more than the commitment reflected in this contract.”
The leak suggested the Cardinals don’t trust Murray’s study habits. Removing the language did not negate this perception. Moon believes the clause will continue to follow Murray throughout his career.
“It’s too late,” Moon continued. “The damage has been done. He’ll have this problem every time he does something wrong in a football game. They’ll say, ‘See, that’s why it happened, that’s what happened. ‘is because he hasn’t studied enough film last week’, or whatever. This is a very unfortunate situation for him and very embarrassing for both parties.