PHOENIX — Kyler Murray celebrated his 24th birthday Saturday with 15,000 Cardinals fans at the annual Red-White practice.
Prior to practice, Kyler received a nice cake according to his head coach, and some special wishes from his fellow quarterbacks via Cameo.
“I was sweating. I was so embarrassed,” said Kliff Kingsbury. “I knew it was coming, and he didn't know, but it was well played. Cam Turner, our quarterbacks' coach, set that up. He used his mother-in-law's credit card and some made up email, so it was untraceable. Then Colt wouldn’t do it, so we had to pay like double the fee to get it accelerated. It was quite a process, we were stressing.”
Murray wasn’t the only one surprised. Colt McCoy wasn’t aware the video shoutout he was doing was for his starting quarterback.
“He had no idea, he said is the kid's name was Buddy. So it was pretty genius. One of the best ones I've ever seen. But it was hard to keep it to ourselves all week knowing that it was going to happen. So it was well played."
No birthday present from his blindside blocker D.J. Humphries though.
“I did not [get Kyler anything],” said Humphries. “I mean, I protected him today though. He gets a year-round gift from me.”
Kingsbury said he’s seen Murray take ownership of the team this year going into his third season, and he’s not the only one that’s noticed that.
“[Kyler] turned 24 today, so he’s mature. He's getting older,” Humphries joked. “You could tell though that he's taking a lot of ownership and wanting everything to be right and not afraid of making it be that way. If it’s wrong, we're going to do it again. It's been fun to see, watching him grow over the years and continue to grow.”
And if Murray is able to take that next step and put together the type of year that everyone in the organization is expecting from him, he’ll be getting a massive pay raise after the season, much like Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen got yesterday.
“I hope we get the opportunity to do that,” Kingsbury said of paying Kyler a big contract. “Because that means he'll have a phenomenal year, just like Josh [Allen] did last year and emerged as one of the top players in the league. At that position, you're willing to do whatever you can to keep that.”
Six years, $258 million for Allen with $150 million guaranteed, the most in the NFL.
Murray said last week he has never played sports for money, but he’ll likely have many millions of reasons to smile before he turns 25.