It has been two years since Kyler Murray pledged his full commitment to playing football. He has since grown into one of the top young talents in the NFL and a franchise quarterback. With the passing of each season, the idea of him playing baseball seems more unlikely.
Just not to Murray.
The Arizona QB reiterated Thursday, upon the release of a Sports Illustrated cover story featuring his video gaming exploits, that he hasn't shut the door on a return to the diamond.
"I still hold on to the three-sport title," Murray said, per Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site. "If the time came where I got to do what I wanted to do, which, I don't know, but I'm leaving it open. I think I can still play, for sure, but we'll add the gaming on to that. Don't shortchange me, please."
Simultaneously playing in the NFL and Major League Baseball isn't a pipe dream for Murray, of course. He is the only athlete to ever be selected in the first round of both sports. The Oklahoma product was scheduled to report to spring training with the Oakland A's in 2019 but ultimately opted to drop baseball upon winning the Heisman Trophy and becoming a top QB prospect.
His latest comments demonstrate that baseball is still very much in his heart, if not actively on his mind. That might necessitate further dialogue between the Cardinals and their star signal-caller.
"I know everybody around (the organization) probably feels different about it," Murray said. "But me personally, I played the game my whole life. If I ever had the opportunity, for sure, I would definitely go for it. What are we talking about? I'm sure anyone asking me about it would (take that opportunity) too. I'm not trying to start anything. I'm just talking."
It's not inconceivable that the opportunity would again arise for Murray, who's still just 23 years old, though his current contract prohibits him from playing baseball. A baseball provision might be worth monitoring when the third-year QB signs his next deal, which could come as soon as 2022.
Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were also in their early 20s when they initially juggled pro football and baseball careers. Brian Jordan was 25 when he quit football to play baseball exclusively. The trio is also from a different era that involved significantly lesser salaries. And none of them were quarterbacks.
In other words, don't be surprised if you don't see Murray throwing anything other than a football on a playing field.