Following months of speculation on which player the Arizona Cardinals would select with the No. 1 overall pick, the front office elected to choose Kyler Murray.
Arizona clearly believes Murray can thrive in Kliff Kingsbury's system and is a better option over Josh Rosen. However, there is a little uncertainty that comes with the Oklahoma quarterback.
Murray isn't like any other prospect in the NFL Draft. We're talking about an athlete that is a first-round pick in two professional sports leagues.
While management in Arizona hopes that Murray thrives with the team for the foreseeable future, they don't have any protected against him possibly leaving the gridiron so he could return to the diamond.
NFL insider Mike Florio spoke about Murray's rookie contract and the lack of an ironed out no-baseball clause. Mike Silver tweeted the details after Murray's selection.
Mike Silver of NFL Network report that the Cardinals are “satisfied” that a “general philosophical agreement” exists regarding “contract language protecting the team in the event [Murray] decided to play baseball.”
This means that there is no binding contract, and that Murray necessarily has leverage in any discussions regarding the terms of a binding contract, because the Cardinals already have used their pick on him. Maybe, for example, he’ll push for language allowing him to flirt, Russell Wilson-style, with baseball in the offseason.
Silver’s tweet acknowledges the possibility that [Murray deciding to play baseball] will happen. If so, Murray would have to return his unearned signing bonus money, something he already has done when deciding not to play baseball after signing a contract with the A’s.
So even if the Cardinals are protected from a monetary standpoint, they’re not protected against the possibility that Murray, after getting hit a few times by grown-ass men who tower over him, decides that baseball is the better course for his long-term physical and financial health and well-being.
Obviously Murray's decision to enter the NFL Draft proves that he is directing all his focus toward football. Yet, the slim chance of him walking out the door still remains.
It'll be interesting to see how Murray handles the competition at the next level.