Kyler Murray

USA Today

NFL Or MLB?

It’s one hell of a decision to make.

January 10, 2019 - 9:52 am
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The Heisman Trophy winner is expected to enter the NFL Draft. Not exactly breaking news, normally, but Kyler Murray isn’t normal. In fact, there’s nothing that isn’t freaky about him. And the fact that he’s expected to enter the NFL Draft is news because the original plan was for him to join the Oakland A’s after this season.

But the San Francisco Chronicle dropped this bombshell last night: the A’s expect Kyler Murray to enter the NFL Draft.

Murray was the ninth pick in last year’s MLB draft and as part of his $4.66 million deal with the A’s, he could go back to Oklahoma to play quarterback for a year and then join the organization this February. But according to the report, the A’s expect that he will enter the NFL draft. That doesn’t mean that he’s a lock to give up baseball and play football, but it sure does increase the chances that he would. 

It wasn’t that long ago that this wasn’t even a possibility. It wasn’t long ago that the plan was he’d be playing the outfield for the A’s in the very near future. 

So what changed? Well, about 4,361 things. That’s the number of yards he passed for this season. Add in the more than 1,000 yards rushing and the 54 combined touchdowns, and the Heisman Trophy, and some of those freakish highlights, and you can see why NFL teams would be interested in Kyler Murray.

And you can see why Kyler Murray would be interested in the NFL. 

Again, expressing interest in the NFL doesn’t mean he’s walking from baseball. It means he’s exploring his options and he should. Everyone should in that position. 

The rubber will start to meet the road in February when he has to report to A’s training camp. And he’d need to be in Arizona when the NFL Combine is happening in Indianapolis. 

Again, even that doesn’t mean that he can’t do both. According to a late addition to the report, the A’s might allow Murray to leave training camp to attend the combine.  

So maybe they can kick the can a little further down the road. But eventually, someone somewhere is going to have to make a decision. And that someone is Kyler Murray. 

And it’s one hell of a decision to make. The kind of decision anyone would love to make.

Would you rather play pro football or pro baseball? And on the surface, it’s an easy one. Would you rather play a sport where you get crushed repeatedly every day or one where you rarely, if ever, take a hit?

But it’s not quite that straightforward. Especially if you love football. In football, as a quarterback, it’s all on you. You’re involved in everything. You’re the leader. You have all that responsibility. Every offensive play starts with you. In baseball, you step to the plate three, four, maybe five times in a game. And maybe you have a few balls hit your way. It’s a totally different feel.

And that’s just on the field. If he goes in the NFL, its charter flights, five star hotels, and huge stadiums every week. If he goes the baseball route, there are bus rides through Iowa. 

BURLINGTON! 

CEDAR RAPIDS! 

CLINTON!

I want to hear from the Quad Cities! 

Are there any Lumber Kings fans listening!?! 

I’m not going to say that minor league baseball isn’t great. It is. 

And I’d be the first to say that while I loved my time on South Beach, I probably would’ve enjoyed West Michigan just as much. In fact, it’s kind of hard to tell the difference between the two.

If you go with baseball, instead of playing the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, you’re facing the Frisco Roughriders and the Amarillo Sod Poodles.  

And from a financial standpoint, while he does have that $4.66 million with the A’s, he’d stand to make more money if he goes in the first round of the NFL draft. 

But that’s in the first deal. And baseball isn’t about the first deal. Baseball is about the next deal. Baseball is about the guaranteed money. It’s about the long-term deals. 

Remember that record-setting 134 million dollar extension Aaron Rodgers signed? Bryce Harper wouldn’t even step off a curb for that. If a team trying to sign Bryce Harper offered him the Aaron Rodgers contract, he’d go Jon Papelbon on them. 

Rodgers will reportedly get more than 100 million guaranteed. You know who else reportedly gets more than 100 million guaranteed? Justin Upton and Charlie Blackmon. Really good players, but not exactly the Aaron Rodgers of baseball. 

When everyone in football was freaking out over Rodgers deal, Kevin Brown got similar money in baseball nearly 20 years ago.  

Roger Clemens made 28 mill in a single season…in 2007. And you don’t have to be Roger Clemens. Andre Ethier was making 17 mill per year. Don’t get me wrong. Again, really nice player, but not exactly a Hall of Famer. And he’s not running the risk of CTE for it. 

But maybe it’s not just about the money. Maybe Kyler Murray just loves football more. And if he does, I totally respect that. I just know that I’ve had former football players on my show who’ve told me they’d tell their sons to play baseball and leave football. Kyler Murray might go the opposite route. 

Again, I’m not telling Kyler Murray what to do or what not to do. He has an incredible choice in front of him. The kind of choice that comes along once every few decades. It’s his body and his brain, but that is one hell of a risk.