Before Kyler Murray was the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft and the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, he was a multi-sport star. He was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in Major League Baseball in the first round. He played both baseball and football at Oklahoma.
When he came out of college, there were questions about whether he would play baseball or football. His contract with the Cardinals does not allow him to play baseball or he loses money.
However, he still holds on to the dream of playing baseball, too.
He is officially a two-sport star through his play in the NFL and as a pro gamer in esports. But he doesn’t want to limit himself to only those two.
“I still hold on to the three-sport title,” he told reporters Thursday after the conclusion of minicamp. “If the day came where I got to do what I wanted to do, which I’m leaving it open, I think I can still play for sure.”
He understands how people around the organization and around Arizona, because they are Cardinals fans and don’t want Murray to do anything else other than be a championship quarterback for the team, but he clearly still has the itch to play baseball.
“Personally, I played the game my whole life,” he said, referring to baseball. “If I ever had the opportunity, for sure, I would definitely go for it.”
He also said he believes that anyone in the same scenario would also say the same thing.
After all, he is a tremendous athlete who has worked his entire life to overcome limitations. Players and men like him do not want to be limited.
Does that mean he will leave the NFL to play baseball? Not likely, considering how much quarterbacks get paid and how quickly they do. That doesn’t mean he wants to quit on a dream he has had since he was a kid.
He clearly would do both if he could, which is tough for obvious reasons. The two sports’ seasons overlap.
And this isn’t like Bo Jackson decades ago, because of the nature of being a quarterback. Jackson would join the Raiders after baseball ended and then run the football. A quarterback has so many more things to do and be.
He will have contract negotiations, perhaps as early as next offseason. By putting this out there in the public, perhaps it will be used as a negotiating ploy to either allow him to play some baseball or to be paid more to avoid it.
As an athlete, there is nothing wrong with what he is saying.
For fans, though, all this does is create some doubt about his future with the team.
He tried to downplay it. He isn’t trying to create any scandal.
“I’m not trying to start anything. I’m just talking,” he said.
Ultimately, this is about one idea, summed up in a short response.
“Don’t short-change me, please.”
Should we worry about Murray playing baseball now? Definitely not.
Could we see him down the road take the route of other players and scratch that itch in spring training or even baseball in the offseason?
Perhaps, but let’s not create drama where there does not need to be.
And if he can somehow bring a championship here? Let him do whatever he wants.