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Cardinals QB Kyler Murray: ‘My only future is in football right now’

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Kyler Murray probably didn’t mean to use the qualifier in the same way as his new boss, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, did just a few months ago.

At the NFL Draft Combine, Keim infamously said that quarterback Josh Rosen was Arizona’s quarterback “right now.” It made all the words about a commitment to Rosen, well, non-committal.

Those two words proved to be foretelling as Arizona used the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday to select Murray, putting Rosen’s future with the team in doubt.

Murray comes to Arizona with his own set of circumstances, namely his two-sport abilities that got him drafted ninth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. Asked if his baseball days are behind him, Murray said they were, yet added those same two words that Keim did, putting an asterisk alongside his commitment to the NFL.

“My only future is in football right now,” he said on a conference call.

The Oakland Athletics had selected the yet-to-be Heisman winner in last year’s MLB Draft, and Murray was expected to leave Oklahoma for a baseball career. But throwing for 4,361 yards, completing 69% of his passes and throwing 42 touchdowns to just seven picks in 2018 built Murray’s stock in football.

His 5-foot-10 and 1/8-inch height didn’t carry the same red flags it would have in the past as teams compared him to Russell Wilson, the highest-paid NFL player after Wilson signed an extension with the Seattle Seahawks just before the draft.

Sports Illustrated’s Mike Silver reported Thursday that the Cardinals “are satisfied that there is a general philosophical agreement on contract language” that would protect the team in the event that Murray were to leave the NFL to pursue a baseball career.

It took until spring training began in February for Murray to go all-in chasing an NFL future, but there was always worry for some that Murray could change his mind down the road.

“I think whoever drafts him is certainly going to have to address that with him,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said a week before the draft.

Murray said that he didn’t personally have those talks with the Cardinals before the draft beyond a few jokes about his two-sport success.

Asked Thursday about whether he would be open to his contract carrying language that would keep him out of MLB, Murray said he would leave that up to his agent.

“I don’t really deal with all that stuff,” he said.

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