Kyler Murray May Want Baseball More Than The NFL

Kyler Murray May Want Baseball More Than The NFL
Video will kyler murray play baseball or football

There are some things that are just better together, that are meant to be. Kyler Murray always liked baseball more than football. So one question worth asking is why not get healthy now, and return to the game he loves, not the one he’s only interested in and the one where his struggles may not have an easy answer or any answers at all.

The thought, while something of a long shot in his brief NFL career, might be and should be getting a fresh look at the immediate future. Murray, who suffered a non-contact ACL injury three snaps into the Monday Night loss against New England might be taking that “fresh look” right this moment.

pic.twitter.com/uop985cOEq

— SIC injury vids (@sicinjuryvids) December 13, 2022

While at Oklahoma, Murray hit .296 with 10 home runs, 47 RBIs and stole 10 bases in 2018 for the Sooners, where he played center field. The A’s selected him number nine overall in the 2018 MLB draft. While Oakland still holds his rights, they get zero compensation for his not playing baseball. He ultimately would forfeit his $4.6 million to the A’s as he segued in a career in the National Football League.

It all began in Norman, where Murray struggled in his first season of Oklahoma baseball. His batting average was just .122 and despite promise, had trouble playing in the outfield.

“My first year playing baseball at OU, you would have thought I was garbage”. per andscape.com.

M3 | Kyler Murray gets all of it for his 10th home run of the season.

OU 5, Kansas 0 pic.twitter.com/nUKEJcFLRF

— Oklahoma Baseball (@OU_Baseball) May 18, 2018

Year two was much better. Oklahoma baseball coach Skip Johnson said the biggest problem was Murray’s time-management. He would practice with the team less that 10 times, and play like he had been at every practice to prepare. He went from hitting .122 to .296 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Whatever interest has waned with MLB clubs came alive again. Between baseball and a part-time gig playing quarterback, a two sport star was emerging in Norman.

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The A’s knew he wouldn’t be an easy sign to a contract. Oakland would initially extend a $4.9 million signing bonus. The offer would jump to $14 million in guaranteed cash and an additional signing bonus. It wasn’t enough, as Kyler Murray would rack up a Heisman Trophy and enter the NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals would select Murray as the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Kyler Murray is set to make $46.1M a year with his new contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Oakland Athletics, the team who took Murray 9th overall in the 2018 MLB draft, have a payroll of $48.5M this season 😲 pic.twitter.com/OZvZnKYhu8

— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) July 21, 2022

From a dollars and cents standpoint, Murray made the right choice. After threatening to not show up to training camp, the Cardinals kicked in. They made him one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks, with a deal worth $230.5 million. A contract extension that turned heads and let their signal caller know they were ‘all in’. However, watching the Arizona quarterback digress has the organization scratching their head, and sports media speaking of a career that has peaked and is now trending down. They aren’t wrong.

In 2022, his numbers are the kind that don’t jump out or indicate better days ahead in 2023. For perspective he has 2,368 yards passing (22nd), 14 touchdowns (tied-20th), seven interceptions (tied-12th), and a QBR of 51.6 (tied-19th). When he does come back next season, the Cardinals will be getting a quarterback they didn’t expect. He’s reckless, moody, and disconnected. He looks lost. Most concerning, his type of game has him running—a lot. For a guy who doesn’t like to be hit and might be gun shy, what is the motivation to get back on the field that was always about the money, and less about the love of the game he was likely better at if not more promising?

Fan apathy is going to be a serious issue if Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury return next season.

— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) December 13, 2022

If you’re Kyler Murray, he has to think about “what if”. These last two seasons have been disastrous for the Arizona Cardinals organization. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is the least to blame but who now owns the mess, could end up the fall guy, even if General Manager Steve Keim is given a reprieve. Fair or not, the NFL is all about winning. It’s not about good intentions. It is a results driven gig and if you don’t deliver, you’re out. Which is an odd but correct overview, especially if that lesson were tagged to Murray as well.

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