Kyler Murray’s two-sport dream could become a Cardinals nightmare

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III (3) celebrates a touchdown in the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at M&T Bank Stadium on December 29, 2019.Last year, Kyler Murray made the choice between baseball and football. Now, he’s sending signals (as opposed to stealing them) about revising his position.

Spectacular as an NFL rookie, Murray recently mused about becoming the first football-baseball player since Deion Sanders.

“I think I could,” Murray said. “Athletically, I think, yeah, I could do it. I’ve been playing both my whole life. I would love to add that to the resume.”

That may be news to the Cardinals, who undoubtedly prefer that Murray be all in with football, all year long. For a quarterback especially, football never ends. Even if he doesn’t spend the limited window of an actual offseason working on his craft, the offseason program becomes a critical part of the player’s development.

Yes, it’s voluntary. But it’s not really voluntary, not for the quarterbacks. They need to be there, all of them. The younger the player, the more critical the offseason work.

If Murray were to play baseball, what would he do? Would he go to spring training and spend April, May, June, and most of July playing baseball (with the exception of the three-day mandatory minicamp, of course)? Would the A’s, who still hold his rights, be comfortable with anything less than that?

“I don’t understand why in sports they try to marginalize it,” Murray said. “They try to make you pick one and I get it, but we’ll see. I think it would be fun. Right now, though, I’m just focused on football.”

That’s the best news for the Cardinals, for now. But if Murray decides to play baseball, there’s nothing the Cardinals can do about it. Although the Buccaneers included in Jameis Winston‘s rookie contract a term that would have allowed the team to get an injunction to prevent Winston from engaging in any type of baseball activity, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to eliminate the power of teams to slam the door, legally, on a two-sport effort. Although playing baseball would void Murray’s guarantees (they won’t be cutting him over the next three years, so that’s irrelevant), the Cardinals could not prevent Murray from playing baseball — and he could be in full compliance with his contract if he shows up for the mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp.


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