NFL Insider insights: Kyler Murray, Deebo Samuel among players skipping voluntary OTAs

Tyler Dragon
USA TODAY Sports+

TEMPE, Ariz. — Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees when the Arizona Cardinals kicked off organized team activities wearing helmets and shells.

There was a workmanlike feeling at practice Monday, but one player was notably absent: Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

Murray doesn’t plan on attending Arizona’s Organized Team Activities amid a contract dispute with the team, a person close to the situation told USA TODAY Sports+. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Second-string QB Colt McCoy practiced mostly with the first team in Murray’s absence.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was also not outside with his teammates during Monday morning’s workout. The league suspended Hopkins for the first six games of the regular season without pay after the NFL found he violated the league's performance-enhancing substances policy. Hopkins is eligible to participate in all preseason activities and games, per the official statement from an NFL spokesperson

MORE:Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury talks about DeAndre Hopkins' suspension

OTAs are voluntary. Players aren’t obligated to attend, however it does set a positive example when leaders show up — especially a franchise quarterback of Murray’s caliber.

“We understand that it is all voluntary at this point,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury. “We want to give some reps to some of the younger guys that may not get as many once we get to training camp.”

The Arizona Cardinals have picked up Kyler Murray's fifth-year option.

Murray’s OTA absence was expected, and Kingsbury said he anticipates the QB to attend mandatory minicamp June 14-16.

“As a coach, you want to have your guys here all the time. But it’s just not how the rules are set up,” Kingsbury said. “Different guys handle it different ways.”

The positive news for the Cardinals is Murray wants to be in Arizona. He’s reaffirmed his stance numerous times this offseason despite the discourse surrounding the QB’s contract.

News surrounding Murray was overshadowed Monday when the NFL announced the Cardinals would feature in HBO’s “Hard Knocks In Season”. Arizona joins the Detroit Lions in the series lineup. HBO announced in March it would feature the Lions in a offseason-focused series, “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions.” 

COMING THIS FALL:HBO, NFL Films to present 'Hard Knocks in Season: The Arizona Cardinals'

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs for a touchdown after catching a pass in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium.

Deebo Samuel's stance unchanged

The 49ers practiced without their most versatile offensive weapon Monday. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel isn’t planning on attending the start of the 49ers' organized team activities, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports+.

MORE:Deebo Samuel unwilling to negotiate 49ers contract extension, requests trade

Samuel’s trade request remains unchanged. However, the 49ers are hopeful the two sides can reconcile. The 49ers are willing to negotiate a long-term extension with the wideout, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation. 

Chargers first-rounder skips OTAs

Defensive tackle Jerry Tillery didn’t attend the Chargers’ first OTA. The Chargers declined Tillery’s fifth-year option this offseason. However, Tillery is expected to attend Chargers’ mandatory minicamp June 14-15, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports+.

Chargers coach Brandon Staley said Tillery is one of the players on the roster who is battling for playing time. 

"He’s going to fit into that competition of guys that are going to have to earn a role," Staley said Monday. "There are a bunch of guys that are trying to prove themselves, to earn their way in the league. I would put him in that category.”

Follow USA TODAY Sports+ NFL Insider Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.