Before Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s season ended with a torn ACL, he was peppered with criticisms of his character and readiness to lead. Offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum offered some blunt thoughts Wednesday.
Beachum spent the last three seasons with Arizona and is an impending free agent. He appeared on Arizona Sports’ "Burns and Gambo" Wednesday to discuss his free agency and offseason philanthropic efforts. When asked what Murray needed to do in order to be great, Beachum quickly answered “grow up.” He continued, “Be a man and grow up. It’s not that complicated. You got to be a leader.”
Murray is 25 years old and signed a massive five-year, $230.5 million deal with the Cardinals last offseason. The extension came with an “independent study clause” amid criticisms of his football work ethic. Murray admitted after last season that he isn’t “one of those guys that’s going to sit there and kill myself watching film,” but was vocally against the clause. It was eventually removed after significant backlash.
Beachum continued with a clarification that he doesn’t think Murray can’t be a great leader, he just has some work to do.
“It’s not a completed process,” Beachum said. “I didn’t say he lacks leadership, I just think he needs to grow up a little bit. I think if he has the ability and willingness to grow up, he’s going to be just fine.”
The quarterback’s abbreviated fourth season saw 2,368 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 66 percent of his passes.
“They paid him for a reason, they paid him because of his talent. He has the ability to lead,” Beachum added. “When you’re in that position, we need you to lead more. You’re the face of the franchise … you have to lead in every single capacity.”
Beachum’s comments come in a more optimistic tone than what former Cardinal Patrick Peterson delivered on his podcast in November.
"Kyler Murray don't care about nobody but Kyler Murray," Peterson said. "That's just a matter of the fact."
Murray responded to his former teammate via Twitter: "This isn't true...you on some weird sh** @P2 you got my number, if you really felt like this as a 'big bro' or 'mentor' you supposed to call me and tell me, not drag me so your podcast can grow.”
The comments came as Peterson and his co-host, former NFL cornerback Bryant McFadden, were discussing whether former Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury would be the "scapegoat" for Arizona’s then 4-8 record. The Cardinals did not win another game after that conversation and Kingsbury was fired.
Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon was hired as head coach in February. Fans will have to wait to watch for signs of Murray’s development, as he is expected to miss at least the start of the 2023 season.