Many young players dream of making it to Major League Baseball, but very few can join that group. Others dream making it to the NFL, but that is out of reach for most. Well, Kyler Murray is one of those vanishingly rare athletes who is so good in both sports that he gets to choose between them.
Today, Murray declared for the NFL draft, Deadspin reports, despite a last-ditch effort by the Oakland A’s Billy Beane who recently met with Murray to convince him to stick with Oakland and not declare for the NFL draft. They even got permission from the MLB to offer him more money. Murray was reportedly hoping for as much as $15 million.
Kyler Murray is one of the most talented prospects coming up in the 2019 NFL draft, and he was also drafted 9th overall in the MLB draft. After signing a 4.7-million-dollar contract with the Oakland A’s, the multi-sport prodigy was given approval to finish out his football season for the Oklahoma Sooners and then report back to the A’s in February for spring training. As Kyler has gone through the season lighting up the BIG 12 he has been tipped to be one of the best QB prospects in the upcoming draft. While being the second Sooner quarterback in a row to win the Heisman award for most valuable player, his draft stock has skyrocketed but has left him with a colossal decision: whether to choose the MLB or the NFL.
Kyler Murray has been lauded as the best multi-sport athlete since the legendary Bo Jackson who was the only person to be named an all-star in professional baseball and professional football. When asked about the decision, Kyler stated, “I’d like to do both, if possible.” Kyler with no doubt is talented enough to pursue a professional career in either football or baseball and could probably become a superstar in whichever he chooses but has said that he is committed to his baseball career. Although drafted 9th Kyler was ranked No. 36 in the baseball draft prospects and is ranked among the top 2 quarterbacks in the football draft prospects, so obviously he destined for great things.
Kyler was one of the most exciting college prospects and impressed several MLB scouts. The outfielder racked up 10 home runs 47 RBI and 56 hits for the Sooners in the 2018 season, leaving almost everybody thinking he is the real deal. With his sights set on the MLB, the sophomore decided to finish his time at OU with a season of football. After being named a starter for the first time as a Sooner, Kyler absolutely lit up the competition. The QB threw for 4053 yards and 40 touchdowns. He also ran for a more than impressive 892 yards and 11 touchdowns. His overall 51 touchdowns led him to the Heisman and the Sooners to a No. 4 national ranking. If the Murray were to chose the NFL over a career in baseball he without a doubt be a first round pick.
More money, more money, and more money is what all the players want. In latest projections, Kyler would most likely be drafted from 10th overall to 15th. That could lead to a rookie NFL contract worth anywhere from 13 to 18 million with about a 10 million signing bonus depending on who he signs with. He would have to pay back the 5 million signing bonus he received from the A’s but he’d still come out much richer in the NFL.
It is not a huge surprise that Murray seems to be siding with the NFL. If you win the Heisman you are almost automatically destined for great things. He will be a high lottery pick and will be a desirable asset for teams in the league. Kyler has all the tools to be a superstar in the NFL and we could see him potentially be one of the all-time greats.
But Kyler does what Kyler wants and there is still the chance that he could play baseball. Declaring for the NFL draft is a strong indication that’s where he will end up but he isn’t yet past the point of no return. It may be that today’s announcement is just another hard-ball attempt to squeeze more money out of the A’s.