Kyler Murray's Future

If you thought yesterday’s statement ended anything, you’re wrong.

February 12, 2019 - 9:50 am
Categories: 

Yesterday, Kyler Murray made his decision. He released a statement on twitter that read: “Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback. Football has been my love and passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100 percent of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships. I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”

So, decision made. He’s going with the NFL. He’s going to give up the money he already has from baseball and the relative safety of that game and put his body on the line for football. Kind of. Sort of. Because nothing is official until it’s official. And that is not exactly a binding statement. That was a statement on twitter and just about nothing on twitter is binding or lasts more than a few days anyway.

So is it binding or not? Does that mean that he really is going all-in on football or is he just saying that to enhance his bargaining power with both the NFL and MLB?

First off, he loses nothing by making that statement. That was the statement that he had to make before the Combine and in order for NFL teams to take him seriously. So that part of the statement made sense. And it’s the statement that he would make if he’s really serious about the NFL. 

And on the surface, Murray committing to the NFL is a huge blow for baseball. Not so much for Oakland, but for the sport. The A’s can find another prospect. They’re really good at that. But the sport of baseball struggles to find household names and Murray was the closest thing they’ve had to one in the minors in a long time and they just lost him to football. Uh-oh. 

Because one of baseball’s best arguments is that it’s safer that football and they offer guaranteed contracts. And a guy who’s about to play a dangerous position just tweeted that he’d rather do that than play baseball.

The most famous minor leaguer right now is a 31 ½ year old with a career .240 batting average who bombed out in the NFL. Shoot, that guy might be one of the ten most famous baseball players period. And he’s awful. 

At a time where MLB is struggling to maintain attention and interest and buzz, when they are trying to figure out ways to speed up the game and bring more attention, they just lost a guy who already has plenty of attention. 

Or did they? Not to get all X-Files conspiracy theory on you, but Murray’s statement doesn’t eliminate baseball from his future. Although it is kind of odd that he never mentioned the Oakland A’s in the statement and never mentioned baseball at all. Not the end of the world, just a little odd.  

Normally, that statement would include something like a thank you to the Oakland A’s for drafting him and talk about his love of baseball, but that football is something he has to pursue. Instead, there is no reference to baseball at all, which is weird. 

And here’s the other thing that might indicate this isn’t over: according to The Athletic, the A’s haven’t given up on him. And now that they have the opportunity to offer him a major league contract, Oakland knows they have the ability to offer him more money than any NFL team does. And I’m guessing Murray and his reps know that too, so the more interest they can drum up in the NFL, the more money he could get from Oakland. That’s smart business. 

What if he bombs his interviews? Or is slow in the 40? What if he’s falling on draft boards, then baseball is right back in this. 

So it’s not over. None of this is over. If anything, it’s just begun. Because now we’re going to have more than 2 months of argument and debate over Murray’s height and how much that matters. Twitter will explode when his official combine height comes out, as if an eighth of an inch here or there is going to make all the difference.

Expect to hear the names Drew Brees and Russell Wilson thrown around a lot. Expect to hear a lot about the heights of offensive linemen and the abilities to move the pocket. Expect to hear questions about his commitment to one sport of the other. And about his weight, and how much that matters. Whether he can take the repeated hits that come with being in the NFL and how much that matters.

If you thought yesterday’s statement ended anything, you’re wrong. This is not the end. This is the beginning. And it’s going to be a very long two months.