Kyler Murray

Cardinals' Kyler Murray claims he could play two sports at same time

Cardinals' Kyler Murray claims he could play two sports at same time

The game Kyler Murray played of "What will he choose?" ultimately ended with the dual-sport player deciding to be an NFL quarterback.

Despite the choice, Murray, the A's first-round pick (No. 9 overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft, believes if he were given a one-calendar year, he would be able to play both sports.

"Athletically, I think yeah, I could do it," Murray told The Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman

Murray added it's something he's done his entire life and "would love to add that to my resume."

The guy is a heck of an athlete, that's for sure. He ended up being the No. 1 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft and became the first player ever drafted in the first round in both the NFL and MLB.

Not bad. 

He started 50 of his 51 games in a baseball uniform as an Oklahoma Sooner, hitting a .296 average with 10 home runs and 47 RBI. 

As a member of the Sooner football team, he threw for 4,361 yards and rushed for 1,001 scoring a combined 54 touchdowns. That was tied for the ninth-most in NCAA Division 1 history and he sealed his college campaign with a Heisman Trophy.

It was a difficult pill to swallow for A's fans that looked forward to seeing him in action. Both from a playing and marketing perspective.

When he made the decision to be an NFL player, he had to return a chunk of his signing bonus money ($4.66 million total) to the A's and would forfeit the remaining $3.16 million due that March. 

The A's retained Murray's rights, but the team did not get a compensatory draft pick.

[RELATED: A's prospect Reed will be perfect for Green and Gold]

General manager David Forst told reporters last year during spring training the A's knew there was a possibility he would choose football.

"We'll focus on what we need to do if he comes back to baseball at some point, and he'll come back with the A's," Forst said.

A's Billy Beane reveals he has Kyler Murray on his fantasy football team

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AP

A's Billy Beane reveals he has Kyler Murray on his fantasy football team

SAN DIEGO -- Kyler Murray still has a fan in Billy Beane.

After Murray spurned a potential MLB career with the A’s to play quarterback in the NFL, Beane admits that he still holds a fondness for his former prospect and enjoys watching the now-Arizona Cardinals QB play football. 

“I love it, I text him -- he’s on my fantasy team,” Beane said at the MLB Winter Meetings on Monday night. “I texted him, I said ‘I gotcha again.’ He texted me back and just gave a big heart.

“He’s a great kid.”

Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations, was paramount in Oakland selecting Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, believing the dual-sport athlete would thrive as a speedy outfielder at the big-league level. The A’s signed Murray to a contract with a $4.66 million signing bonus, which also allowed him to continue playing football that fall at Oklahoma.

But Kyler put on a show for the Sooners on the gridiron and never looked back. Murray won the 2018 Heisman Trophy, throwing for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns and running for another 1,001 yards with 12 scores.

After months of speculation about whether he would declare for the NFL draft or continue his commitment with the A’s, Murray decided on Feb. 11 that he would focus entirely on his football career, forgoing baseball.

[RELATED: How Forst thinks state of free-agent market will affect A's]

The Cardinals took Murray with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, making him the first player in history to be drafted in the first round of both the MLB and the NFL drafts.

Murray has had a strong rookie campaign for Arizona, throwing for 3,060 yards and 16 touchdowns, with 448 yards and four more TDs on the ground.

So with those solid numbers, here’s the question we all want to know: How is Beane’s fantasy team doing this season?

“First time not making the playoffs,” Beane said with a laugh.

49ers using Richie James to imitate, plan for Ravens' Lamar Jackson

49ers using Richie James to imitate, plan for Ravens' Lamar Jackson

SANTA CLARA -- Just a few weeks ago, cornerback Richard Sherman spilled the beans that 49ers backup quarterback C.J. Beathard strained his back while imitating Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray on the scout team prior to their game against Arizona. 

As the 49ers prepare to face Lamar Jackson, the team went a different direction and will use wide receiver Richie James to play the role of the dynamic Ravens quarterback. Even though James is a leftie and Jackson is not, the receiver’s mobility will be effective in imitating the MVP candidate. 

“Taking me back to my old days,” James told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I guess that’s what they are trying to do. I’m trying to figure it out now as we speak. About to take some snaps right now.”  

James has been the primary returner this season, averaging 7.9 yards per punt return and 22.9 yards for each kick return. That shiftiness makes him a great candidate to imitate Jackson, but James knows that those are big shoes to fill. 

“Just [going to] be myself,” James said. “He’s a one-of-a-kind, so you can only be yourself. I’m already a dynamic player, so just the more dynamic I can be.”  

Jackson is quite a bit larger than James, who is nearly 30 pounds lighter and five inches shorter than the Baltimore signal-caller. Still, the wideout’s history will serve him well as he takes on his new role for the week. 

"I was 80-percent run and 20-percent pass,” James said of his high school quarterback days. “It’s going to work for today because that’s kind of what they do now. They run a lot. So I’m expecting to run, continue to run. It’s going to be interesting." 

[RELATED: History says either 49ers or Ravens will make Super Bowl]

Jimmy Garoppolo thought the choice was appropriate -- as long as James can get the ball out. 

“We’ll see how he can throw,” Garoppolo said with a smile. “I know Richie is athletic as can be. I think he’s a leftie, so we’ll see how he can throw it today.”