Kyler Murray has had it easy in football. Very easy. Maybe too easy.
Peter King points out in his latest Football Morning in America column that Murray has started 60 games over the last seven years. He has won 57, and he has lost three.
“[I]n the NFL, he could lose more starts in a month than he lost in the previous seven years,” King writes, and he’s right. And the question then becomes how will Murray handle adversity?
He probably won’t be able to handle it like he did after losing to Texas during the regular season, when a “good game” gesture from Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger morphed into a perceived diss that echoed into the late-season rematch. But unlike most quarterbacks, who have no choice but to take some lumps if they want to play at the NFL level, Murray has an option, if football when it isn’t as easy as it’s been becomes less enjoyable.
Murray can, if he so desires, still play baseball.
That’s why it’s critical for the team that drafts Murray to believe that he’s all in with football, and that he’s willing to sign a contract that prevents him from playing baseball. Four years ago, the Buccaneers did that in the contract signed by quarterback Jameis Winston, which would have voided his future guarantees if he had done anything baseball related, short of throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game.
Of course, that doesn’t stop Murray from paying back his unearned signing bonus (it wouldn’t be the first time he’s done that) and quitting football altogether. No matter what anyone from Murray’s camp currently says, there’s a chance that Murray’s views on football will change if it all of a sudden becomes much more of a struggle than it’s ever been.