Kyler Murray’s contract has become official. And it officially contains a term that a source with deep knowledge of player contracts deemed unprecedented.
The agreement requires Murray to engage in at least four hours of “independent study” during each week of the season, from the Monday after the end of training camp until the last game on the schedule, including post-season games.
The contract defines “independent study” to include the study of “material supplied to him by the Club in order to prepare for the Club’s next upcoming match, including, without limitation, any material supplied via an iPad or other electronic device. Time spent in mandatory meetings does not count.
The Agreement specifically includes this sentence: “Player will not receive credit for Independent Study with respect to periods during which any Materials are viewed or played on an iPad or Electronic Device if (a) Player does not study or does not personally view the material while it is being viewed or played or (b) the player is engaged in any other activity that may distract their attention (for example, watching television, playing video games, or browsing the Internet) while this material is displayed or read.”
A violation of this term counts as a default under the contract, which would jeopardize his guaranteed money.
It’s unclear how all of this will be enforced by the Cardinals, unless there’s a way to remotely monitor active interaction and iPad engagement. (Microsoft, which gives the league a ton of money for an exclusive Surface sponsorship deal, may not like the use of the Apple tablet name.) The mere fact that the team has reduced the term to The writing suggests the team is concerned about whether and to what extent Murray is doing enough homework.
He wouldn’t be the first player to over-rely on his natural skills and neglect to study the playbook, game plan, and movie. He is perhaps the first, if not one of the only, to have such a clause in his contract.
Bottom line: He wouldn’t be there unless the team thought there was a reason for it.