The Kyler Murray Situation
by: Noah Gaines
Oklahoma’s Heisman trophy winner and ninth overall pick in last years MLB draft just declared for the NFL draft this week. The two-sport super-star athlete is drawing comparisons to the next Bo Jackson, one of the greatest tailbacks in NFL history when he played as well as the Kansas City Royal outfielder. This guy is a tremendous talent in both sports and will most likely make history by going first round in two professional sports. The player will make an impact in either sport whichever he decides to play.
Yet, things aren’t as simple as it seems for Murray. MLB executives, marketing agents, and members of the Oakland A’s (the team that drafted Murray in baseball) met with the player to persuade him to pursue the big leagues rather than the NFL. Murray’s camp stated prior to the meeting that the A’s will have to up the signing bonus of Murray by 10 million in order to secure him as a MLB player rather than an NFL one. Murray agreed to a 5 million signing bonus with the A’s on draft night this past June.
Murray is slated to go top 10 in the NFL draft that will take place in late April. It will be interesting to see whether or not he decides to stick around with baseball or go pro in the NFL draft. There is more than just the pure skill for Kyler to consider. He can most likely maximize his market in football as it takes less time to become a professional talent than in baseball where it takes multiple levels of minor league ball to be a talent. He also is more injury prone in the NFL in the means of concussions and broken bones compared to baseball where the most consistent injury is Tommy John surgery, which occurs most likely in pitchers, yet Kyler is an outfielder so it should be minimal.
It’s going to be one of the biggest NFL offseason discussions until the draft rolls around in April, along with the Antonio Brown discussion drama surrounding the Steelers. In baseball Kyler won’t have the name-recognition as quickly as he would if he played in the NFL, but his potential commitment can contribute to the slow staring contest of an offseason that has blossomed in the MLB.
Either way all eyes will be on Kyler these next couple months as we await his decision, my pick is he goes to the NFL riding the momentum of a Heisman trophy and lack of quality quarterback depth in this draft. Buckle your seats sports fans it’s gonna be a whirlwind of an offseason folks.