A’s make final push to keep Kyler Murray from applying for NFL draft

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The Oakland A’s have employed a curious and potentially winning strategy when it comes to persuading Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray to choose a career in baseball over a career in football. They’ve indulged him, letting him play for Oklahoma last year. They seem to be inclined to cooperate with him, possibly allowing him to attend the Scouting Combine in lieu of spring training.

On Sunday, they’ll meet with him, one day before the deadline for applying for early entry to the 2019 NFL draft.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that a contingent led by team president Billy Beane will have a sit-down with Murray, hopeful that he’ll chose hardball over oblongball.

Their pitch could be an ultimatum. Or maybe it will unfold as a good-cop, bad-cop routine aimed at injecting Murray with alternating doses of guilt-trip and ego-stroke, with baseball agent Scott Boras (who has said Murray definitely is playing baseball) serving as a double-agent of sorts, officially acting in Murray’s best interests but unofficially acting in the best interests of the A’s and, more importantly, himself.

Or maybe the A’s will continue to be fully supportive or Murray’s football flirtations, telling him how badly they want him to play baseball but expressing full and complete understanding of his desire to explore the depths of the football rabbit hole that already has led him to the highest individual honor the college level can bestow.

“We’ll be here if you change your mind,” they’ll say, hopeful that he keeps one foot in the baseball boat long enough to scare NFL teams from risking a first-round pick, thereby nudging him toward baseball.

That’s ultimately what it may come down to. If the A’s can keep Murray from slamming the door on baseball, there’s a good chance no NFL team will burn a 2019 first-round pick on Murray, especially since draft rights last only one year.

So if Murray chooses to apply for early entry to the draft, it won’t be the end but simply the end of the beginning. But in the end it will be impossible for Murray to maximize his draft stock until he says clearly and convincingly, “I’m playing football, not baseball” — and then acts accordingly.

36 responses to “A’s make final push to keep Kyler Murray from applying for NFL draft

  1. Murray should play baseball. WAY more lucrative and if he is as good as believed, he could in several years be looking at being a $50 Million a year man in MLB. He also could easily have a 20+ year career in MLB, still earning a ton on the downside of his career.

  2. He stands to make a lot of money if he enters the NFL draft. Most likely the first QB picked. And then there are the endorsements. Of course forty years from now he might be able to function but at least he’ll be rich.

  3. There is absolutely no way I’d pick football over baseball. No way. First of all, he won’t take the toll on his body playing baseball vs football. Second, his career will likely last longer. Third, the baseball contracts being guaranteed are certainly more favorable than football.

    Let’s look at Jeff Samardzija, whondid choose baseball over football. He toiled in the minors a bit and had I believe 12 years under his belt… he’s only made $88mil so far. Plus he still has another $40mil in contract coming his way. The odds of him doing that well in football and not being as beat up are slim to none.

    And I say all of this as someone that hates baseball and loves football. The right choice is baseball.

  4. Brees is 5′ 10″, Russell Wilson as well. Murray is probably 2-3″ shorter than them. Tough decision though, getting to the Majors is a grind. You really don’t know if someone can hit major league pitching until they get there.

  5. It’s his life and he can play whatever sport he chooses but he should pay back every penny to the A’s if he chooses football

  6. Go play baseball and see how you progress.In baseball you can have a 15-20 year career,come out with big bucks and remain healthy.Football,not as big bucks,not as long a career and with your frame,I doubt you will come out healthy.

    If baseball doesn’t work out,you can always try football.By then Qb’s will wear flags so you will be healthy for the rest of your career and live normal life afterwards!!

  7. I don’t know if it really hurts a franchise to have a player play two sports. But it does hurt the player. Bo Jackson’s football career was 4 years. He played 8 baseball seasons. Deion Sanders played played 14 years in NFL, and played baseball 9 years. Playing QB is different than RB and DB. If he can’t hit the curve ball, play football.

  8. One thing is for certain in this article. That is, if Scott Boras is involved, he will definitely be looking out for himself, first and foremost.

  9. The A’s already spent their draft pick – if he chooses to play football they should encourage him to do both sports. At a minimum they can leverage him for the publicity and marketing – like the Mets did with Tebow.

  10. I love how people say Murray should play baseball just because he might make more money. Have you ever considered that there’s a chance the guy might enjoy football more than baseball? And let’s not pretend like 162 games and constant traveling isn’t a worse deal than only playing 8 away games. If the guy pans out he’s going to make tens or hundreds of millions of dollars either way. Choosing which way to go just because of the potential money would be absurd.

  11. More money in MLB and he will be able walk when he retires. With his size he’ll get smashed as a QB. But, the main thing is which game does he enjoy playing more? Not a bad problem to have.

  12. Why in the world is Murray even thinking about playing football, when he’s got a baseball career there for the taking? In baseball he can be fat and lazy, hit .260 over a 20 year career and get paid $250 million for it, and then retire healthy with his knees and brain intact. The NFL can’t compare.

  13. He will get far more money upfront in the NFL.
    The $4.7 million from the A’s is all he gets unless he proves to be a star.

    After being drafted as an NFL QB, he will get around $35 million guaranteed on his first contract without playing a down.

    So the argument he will get more and play longer in MLB is not guaranteed. At all.

  14. I disagree with the idea that he has to unequivocally commit to football to maximize his draft value. He’s in the unique position where he can pick the team(s) he’d be willing to play for and commit to them when he meets with them at the combine that he will play for them if they use their first-round pick on him.
    Also, to the posters who say he’d make more money playing baseball – he has one $4 million contract. If he doesn’t make the big leagues (like Drew Henson and many other “can’t miss” prospects), there won’t be a second contract. But as desperate as NFL teams are for quarterbacks, he can flame out and still get another team to take a chance on him. Happens all the time.

  15. If he focused on baseball he would make serious cash. A fast center fielder that has power and base stealing ability. He can’t play both as a QB so stop with that nonsense. Deion Sanders was a football player who was ok at baseball. Bo Jackson was a different cat. He was naturally good and really didn’t really have to practice at anything. If Bo would have just played baseball he would be in Cooperstown right now with 500+ HRs, 600+ steals and a pile of gold gloves.

  16. i disagree with the notion that he has to say publicly that he’s done with baseball. all he has to do is tell the nfl teams that interview him privately that if taken in the first round he will definitely sign to play QB. even at the 32nd pick his signing bonus will be more than his entire baseball contract, and his overall contract value will be double that.

  17. As an Oakland native I’d like to say that the A’s are an abomination. Deprive the NFL of a young exciting star for him to play Oakland boring brand of baseball for a few years only to have to the Yankees. Just go away for good Oakland A’s, you’re the definition of worthless.

  18. Physically his body will never hold up in the NFL. He’s even smaller than Russell Wilson. It really is a desperate quarterback draft.

  19. It’s a lot more likely the A’s say, ‘You gave us your word you’d play for us…please honor what you said.’ The A’s did draft him with the 9th overall pick and I’m sure they asked him MANY MANY times before using the 9th pick on him. His agent is gonna be clear…the money is double in the NFL…so sorry guys.

  20. Who knows what he will do. So far, all I have seen is that the As have drafted and paid him a bunch of money. I haven’t heard Murray say he is playing pro football.

  21. Sanders and Jackson played both. And over lapping. But has anyone had success with the Drew Henson approach.
    Played baseball, didn’t work out. Switched to football. Football didn’t work out. He did get contracts with both and paid by both. Would he have been a successful (not meaning MVP or SB champion) QB if he didn’t try baseball? Maybe he would have been a meh QB either way. that’s why I wonder if anyone has done this.

    The notion that he can try baseball and switch to the NFL if “he can’t hit the curveball” may not be the sure fire route. Trying one may diminish his chance at success at the other.

    Are there success stories?

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