Kyler Murray has real power, if he chooses to use it

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Last month, the case was made for Kyler Murray becoming the next name in a short line of quarterbacks who have turned the tables on the NFL by exercising control over his draft status — a line that currently consists of John Elway and Eli Manning.

“Murray can become one of the few to tell the NFL the circumstances under which he’ll willingly become an employee of a professional football team,” it was written. “He can say, plainly and clearly, that if he’s not drafted by a certain team (or teams) and/or if he’s not selected at a certain level, he’s not signing a football contract and playing baseball instead.”

Then came Super Bowl week, and Murray was asked point blank on the set of PFT Live whether he’d be willing to make it clear that he’ll choose baseball unless he’s picked by one of a list of specific teams. Murray began the answer by praising the A’s for how they’ve handled the situation, apparently to indicate that he wouldn’t keep the door open to baseball on an equivocal basis out of respect to the MLB team that had drafted him. Murray then said he also wouldn’t place such restrictions on his NFL draft status.

But here’s the thing. With teams trying to avoid a Bo Jackson outcome, with a first-round pick squandered on someone who never signs a football contract, Murray necessarily will have the power to determine where he plays. With the A’s reportedly still at the ready to try to outbid whoever drafts Murray and with a very real difference between Murray’s recently-unveiled commitment to football and the ultimate commitment that would come from signing a contract containing the Jameis Winston no-baseball clause, any team considering writing K-Y-L-E-R-M-U-R-R-A-Y on a draft card needs to be sure that he’ll sign those same letters, in that same order, at the bottom of a formal four-year NFL agreement.

That’s where the power come from, whether Murray chooses to use it or not. The sword that Murray will be swinging comes from the shield the teams of Big Shield will be using to ensure that Murray will turn his commitment into a contract. Would any G.M. in his right mind draft Murray without first contacting agent Erik Burkhardt and saying, “Will your guy agree to terms, or will we be wasting a draft pick?”

Thus, look for Murray and Burkhardt to be subtle and passive, not active and aggressive, when it comes to the very rare position Murray occupies. He’s an NFL draft prospect with an opportunity to make as much or more money playing a sport other than football. And that will surely make every team considering Murray very, very nervous.

65 responses to “Kyler Murray has real power, if he chooses to use it

  1. Murray is a 5″9 QB, I dont think he has nearly as much power over his draft status as Eli or John Elway did. Teams could just tell Kyler Murray to screw off and a move like that could drop him way down draft boards and back to baseball, a sport he’s already PO’d over how he treated the A’s. Murray is far from a sure thing like Eli & John Elway were he doesnt have that kind of power not to mention if he wants to turns a bunch of NFL Fans off before he ever plays a down in the NFL then by all means make a move like that.

  2. That’s not power. That’s a MAJOR handicap. NOBODY with a pair of neurons puts serious draft capital at risk on a pick like that. So he slides into late round 1 at BEST. I wouldn’t pick him there either.

  3. Given the number of exciting first-round QBs who have flopped in the pros, teams won’t want to further damage their odds with yet more uncertainties about whether a guy is even committed to the NFL at all let alone choosing his team.

    As for Eli, the Giants would’ve had an SB or 2 more if they had kept Rivers. And though Elway was more gifted, Broncos only got 2 SBs by massively breaking cap rules, twice by $29M each time, when the cap was just $57M, and other contract violations, to keep their veterans sweet.

  4. Play baseball. The NFL and fans won’t miss Kyler Murray.
    This isn’t the NBA; no player is bigger than the league.

  5. Don’t confuse power with toxicity. Any team that drafts him higher than the 6th round is nuts. When things don’t go the way he wants he will threaten to play baseball.

  6. Murray has little power because he’s not a sure thing like Peyton Manning.

    If he tells teams not to draft him then he may fall lower. Will he tell the teams he doesn’t want to play for up front, before the draft? Or wait for them to call and he will tell them No.

    He can “win” and take a lower salary.

    If he falls enough a team he doesn’t want may take him in the hopes of trading him.

  7. “Will your guy agree to terms, or will we be wasting a draft pick?”

    ——————————————————————————————-

    Like any agent worth his salt is going to say that. He’s going to keep them guessing to keep options open for his client. Or else he will just plain lie to NFL teams and say sure he will.

  8. The history of first round quarterbacks is sketchy. The history of QBs Murray’s size is sketchy.

    What you call “power” can be seen as a real detriment to Murray. Murray has been lukewarm about committing to the NFL. Teams don’t want guys that aren’t committed to the team, nevermind not being committed to the sport. So Murray could, in your view, tell teams that would be inclined to draft him in the first round that he doesn’t want to play there – and will play baseball instead? How does that entice someone to risk drafting him early? Financially, football over baseball only works for Murray if he’s drafted in the first round and becomes a franchise QB. I know that shorter QBs like Wilson and Brees have broken the mold, but Murray is smaller than Doug Flutie.

    Going to the combine and measuring in at 5’9″ and 175 isn’t going to increase Murray’s “power” to dictate his NFL future.

  9. I’m staying away from this kid just because of that “power”. He can’t commit to a sport then I’m out.

  10. The media isn’t helping this kid at all. The more yall “report” on him, the more people are turned off. Just let him do him and stay out of the speculation.

  11. It’s a dead football period for the media. Unless a GM is told to draft him by the owner, and has a spare pick they can waste, why pick him in the first round where he gets guarantees that count against you? Go draft an OL to protect your existing QB. The failure of NFL GMs in drafting players is legendary.

  12. He also ready has an army of envious haters. He’s already at the Tom Brady, Russell Wilson level of being hated for no apparent reason. Or is big short a reason to root against a guy?

    Just think, he’s not even got a team yet. Some of the current haters will be his biggest fans. Someday they will argue with the very fans they are in complete agreement with today.

  13. why was it okeh for Peyton Manning and the Denver GM to play these games but for Russel Wilson and Kyler Murray it is not?

    the NFL have three or more QBs under 6-feet—Brees, Wilson, Mayfield, the current MVP, to name a few—so that’s no consideration;

    Bo Jackson was the preeminent athlete of our time and probably the only one on a par with Jim Thorpe in the 20th Century, so far above and away from anyone else in any sport;

    in a world where agents have all the scruples of a requiem shark and owners are consumed by such vicious avarice they make mafia dons look like neighbourhood bullies, where baseball players are often more doped up than Kentucky Derby horses, i don’t blame the kid for playing the whole lot of them against each other for his benefit;

    you better believe for every other player in the draft, it will almost certainly be the other way around;

  14. So in effect he has the exact same power as everybody else in the draft. the power to not sign a contract.

  15. Remember when Drew Henson was in this situation? Or Quincey Carter? Or Chad Hutchinson? And then he came back to the NFL and sucked?

    Yeah… it’s going to be like that.

    Remember when all three of those guys were the Dallas QB options? hahaha… second thought, Jerrah will draft him.

  16. That so-called “power” that Murray has could just as easily work against him if he and his agents aren’t careful. Elway and Manning were much surer prospects. For as talented as Murray is, he could easily be a bust. Not many teams are lining up to draft a QB who looks directly into the back of the shoulder pads of his linemen.

    Drafting Murray means altering and building a specific offense around him starting with mobile linemen. Guys who can’t move with a pocket need not apply!

    Careful Kyler…listen too long to the advice to wield your power and you might find yourself sliding down draft boards and riding buses in AA baseball.

  17. jmac1013 says:

    February 14, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Play baseball. The NFL and fans won’t miss Kyler Murray.
    This isn’t the NBA; no player is bigger than the league.

    Exactly and not to mention that NFL teams are not going to bow down to a rookie who is trying to through around some imaginary power and hasn’t even set foot on a practice field much less a game.

  18. “He can say, plainly and clearly, that if he’s not drafted by a certain team (or teams) and/or if he’s not selected at a certain level, he’s not signing a football contract and playing baseball instead.”

    —————————————————————————-

    This might work if he was Payton Manning or Andrew Luck but for someone with his indecisiveness between NFL and baseball and height, he’s not going to be taken in the 1st round or 2nd round. Whoever drafts him in the 3rd is reaching because they might not get him in the 4th/5th.

    NFL teams and A’s have all the leverage. He was great in college but he’s playing with the big boys now.

  19. This guy is going to be drafted in the first round. That isn’t because he is good enough to be a first round pick, its because team’s are so desperate for someone with any type of talent someone is going to make the mistake and choose him. Its how guys like EJ Emanual, Brandon Weeden, Tim Tebow, Paxton Lynch, Christian Ponder, Jonny Manziel, Jake Locker, Blake Bortles, Blaine Gabbert, (I could go on and on and on…) were drafted in the first round and most of them should never have been.

    Is it impossible for him to work out? Not going to say that but anyone wasting a more than a 3rd round pick is wasting that pick and the idea someone like him might have the same type of control of 2 guys that have won SB’s and are likely to be in the HOF (Elway already is) is just laughable.

  20. I have been saying this all along. He is going to tell teams to pick me here or don’t bother. If he gets taken in the 1st round he will go the As and say “What you want to do about it?”. Yes he is one of the few that can play one off the other.

  21. dreemeagle says:
    February 14, 2019 at 8:49 am
    why was it okeh for Peyton Manning and the Denver GM to play these games but for Russel Wilson and Kyler Murray it is not?

    the NFL have three or more QBs under 6-feet—Brees, Wilson, Mayfield, the current MVP, to name a few—so that’s no consideration;

    ———— The current MVP Mahomes is 6’3” so…..

  22. “If you don’t pick me by #5 the I ain’t playing football”


    “Bye, Felicia”


    “I showed them”

    Seriously? That’s “real power”?

  23. He has the opposite of power. He has red flags about his size, his commitment level and now he’s to openly state that “unless I get what I want, I’m walking”. That’s a red flag about his attitude.

    GM’s want someone COMMITTED to football, not someone who says “if I’m not drafted at this level with an appropriate (more than $4m) in guarantees, then I’m walking”. If you have him slotted at a level where he won’t make that, then you don’t draft him.

    So he’s basically saying “If I’m not a high first rounder, I’m walking”. He isn’t a can’t miss prospect. That would work for Elway or Manning, a prototype can’t miss QB. He’s not that.

    My bet is, he won’t be drafted at all.

  24. I don’t think any players’ draft status has hinged so much on his height and weight measurements taken at the Combine. IF, big if, Kyler comes in at 5’10” 205, the athletic upside will vaunt him to the very front of the draft board. Under that scenario, Murray will go to the NFL so he can play on Monday Night Football this fall Fall as opposed to taking bus rides over the next couple of years to dusty little towns in the minor leagues. But if, as I suspected, Kyler comes in at closer to 5’8” or 5’9” 190ish, Murray will fall in the draft. And if that happens, there is a very real risk that the A’s swoop in, a risk exacerbated by the fact that Boras is going do everything in his power to persuade Murray to stick with baseball.

  25. I’ve read that he’s got a strong preference for The Cardinals or Dolphins. Not coincidentally, his agent Burkhardt also represents the 2 new incoming coaches Kingsbury and Flores.

  26. “With the A’s reportedly still at the ready to try to outbid whoever drafts Murray”

    Umm the A’s are as cheap as they come. They don’t outbid anybody for anything.

  27. He and his agent will lie to teams leading up to the draft. Then, when it comes to sign the rookie contract and he balks at putting in language preventing him from ever playing baseball, the team is screwed. They either agree to it, or they wasted a pick, so presumably, they would agree to it and have to hope for the best.

    The only team that could know ahead of time would be the Cardinals, because they can sign him before they draft him. I don’t see this kid going No. 1 overall, but stranger things have happened. If they Cards take him, they need to make sure he signs the contract with no baseball allowed before they pick him.

  28. So the GM of an NFL has this decision to make:

    Draft player x who plays position y in the 1st round and reasonably assume that the player will be a good/productive player and on the team for 4-5 years or he can draft Murray and hope that he’s going to sign a contract and possibly play for my team?

    Murray has already shown that a signed contract doesn’t mean anything to him (ie, see Oakland A’s) but a GM is going to believe that him and his agent are telling the truth when that teams calls him with the #x pick in the 1st round and asks them if he’s going to be play football?

    Murray’s perceived power lies in the fact that there are many desperate GMs for NFL out there looking to make a splash and signing Murray in the 1st round would do that.

  29. Murray needs to make a decision. To this day, Elway is still loathed for not signing with the Colts who made him the number one pick in the 84 draft and threatened baseball (with the NY Yankees who had also drafted him) over the Colts). Elway had no problem with the city of Baltimore, their fans, but refused to play for their coach, Frank Kush, who ran the ball on nearly ever down and had been fired for striking a player in College at ASU. Not sure what I would advise Murray. Based on his size and stature, baseball seems to be the safer option. He will be rich either way. Follow your heart, young man, follow your heart.

  30. Comparing him to Bo Jackson is ridiculous. Number one, Bo Jackson prior to injury was a Barry Sanders level RB. This kid will be lucky to be the next Doug Flutie.

    Id take a risk on him in the 3rd round, maybe.

  31. Comparing him to Bo Jackson is ridiculous. Number one, Bo Jackson prior to injury was a Barry Sanders level RB. This kid will be lucky to be the next Doug Flutie.
    _________
    Bo was one of the greatest athletes of any generation. Had he not been injured and stuck to one sport, he would have rewritten record books. Comparing Murray to Bo Jackson is simply unfounded.

  32. If he’d really rather play baseball than play for a certain team or teams, he could let them know that he won’t sign with them if they draft him, but he’d have to be willing to go through with that threat if they called his bluff. He also would be restricting the list of potential teams that could sign him, which could leave him out the league all together if none of his preferred teams chose to draft him. So in theory yes, he could attempt to exercise that type of power, but only if he really is OK with playing baseball instead…

  33. All of these Pro-Murray posts are starting to pile up. I think PFT is missing the risk factor here. This is a 5’9″ QB with 8″ hands who is built like a 2nd baseman (NOT Russell Wilson). he may be smart – however, lets keep in mind, less than a year ago he cashed a $5M check from the Oakland A’s saying its his dream to play MLB baseball…9 months later he makes a complete reversal saying its his dream to play NFL football.

    We haven’t heard the last of this.

  34. “With the A’s reportedly still at the ready to try to outbid whoever drafts Murray”

    The A’s cannot outbid a potential NFL team without signing Murray to a MLB contract. Doing that would immediately place him on their 40 man roster. All of his option years would then be wasted in his early minor league seasons. Once those are exhausted he would have to join the big league club, be traded, or sent to waivers. That is not an ideal situation for the A’s either.

  35. This draft year is reminiscent of the Bortles, Gabbert (take out Cam and there were three 1st round busts) and EJ Maunel draft years where GM’s reached for QB’s in the 1st round that ended up being busts and costing jobs. Elway showed his hand going with Flacco so they won’t be trading up. That leaves only the Jags and probably Washington desperate for a QB, the others (Broncos, Dolphins, Giants, Raiders, Bucs, and Bengals) have to decide if their current QB is better than using a 1st round on a very weak QB class (3rd rounders at best). Also, are any of the QB’s worth trading up, I say no. Similar for the Jags and Skins are Foles and any other re-run QBs a better option than using their 1st round draft pick. There may only be one 1st round QB and if that is not Murray, will a GM waste a pick on him especially with Billy Beane’s PR about paying him more.

    Murray has no power, his agent screwed him, kind of like Le’veon’s agent throwing away $14 million.

  36. duane0621 says:
    February 14, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    All of these Pro-Murray posts are starting to pile up. I think PFT is missing the risk factor here. This is a 5’9″ QB with 8″ hands

    —————————

    His hand size is going to be the biggest issue. If they really measure out at 8″ this is a huge problem.

  37. He’s already chosen football over baseball. His only “power” would require him to totally reverse course and go back to baseball. Teams would definitely call his bluff on that. That’d be a win-win for the team: If he caves they get what they want and if he would walk away it’d be proof positive he lacked the commitment to have succeeded in the NFL.

  38. so Mahomes is tall;

    aren’t Wilson and Mayfield 5-10 or under?

    don’t recall either being known for hand size;

    he’s absolutely right to let the sharks eat each other and pick the winner;

    they’d do the same to him given any chance;

  39. To an above poster, there are plenty of valid reasons to mock Ms. Brady. Leaving a preggers girlfriend to monkey branch to another, the lying and cheating, that doofus smirk, crying to the refs every other play, the poor sportsmanship, the Uggs… and the list goes on.

  40. dreemeagle says:
    February 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    so Mahomes is tall;

    aren’t Wilson and Mayfield 5-10 or under?

    don’t recall either being known for hand size;

    ———————-

    Wilson like Drew Brees is known for having exceptionally big hands for a man his size. They both check in at 10 1/4 inches.

    Mayfield had his hand size measured by the Browns after the combine checked his in at 9 1/4 inches (at the Senior Bowl Mayfield’s hands measured 9 1/2 inches). The Browns measured Mayfield at 9 6/8 inches.

    Hand size is a big issue. Especially with cold weather teams, as they have found ball security issues with smaller hands in cold weather.

    Btw, Brees and Mayfield bothy measured 6’0 in height, Wilson 5’11.

  41. I think most people who don’t think Murray is going to be successful don’t know much about football. If you’ve watched the film, it’s easy to tell he’s got all the tools to be great. Elite arm strength. Accuracy. Fleet of feet and knows how to contort his body and avoid hits. An NFL offensive line is not going to be much taller than what he had in front of him at Oklahoma if at all. Just say you don’t like the kid because he can control his own destiny.

  42. TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    February 14, 2019 at 9:16 am
    Just like RG3 had power!

    Then reality set in..
    ————————————-

    The more that comes out about this kid and his personality the more & more he reminds of RG3. Right down to his Dad tagging along calling the “shots” for Murray. Kyler is basically a smaller RG3, people who think his game translates just need to look at RG3’s history to realize Murray is far from a sure thing.

  43. NinersFan1973 says:
    February 14, 2019 at 10:51 am
    He and his agent will lie to teams leading up to the draft. Then, when it comes to sign the rookie contract and he balks at putting in language preventing him from ever playing baseball, the team is screwed. They either agree to it, or they wasted a pick, so presumably, they would agree to it and have to hope for the best.

    The only team that could know ahead of time would be the Cardinals, because they can sign him before they draft him. I don’t see this kid going No. 1 overall, but stranger things have happened. If they Cards take him, they need to make sure he signs the contract with no baseball allowed before they pick him.
    ________________________________________________-

    Arizona is not drafting this kid. The team has already came out and said that. Had QB Josh Rosen of came out this year instead of last years QB heavy class Rosen would be the best QB in this class by a mile & the 1st overall pick, Arizona already has that guy on the roster they just need to build around him. Last year Josh Rosen had nothing around him playing behind an OL filled w/ street F/A’s and UDFA”s who werent even on the roster week 1 & lost several of his weapons and still showed a lot of potential and promise. Arizona just needs to fix the OL in front of him and add a WR or two giving him some more weapons to throw to and he will be fine. With all the needs Arizona has offensively they’d have to be legit insane to waste another 1st round pick on a QB when they have Josh Rosen on the payroll, and not just a first round pick but the 1st overall pick. They need to either trade out of the pick if they can & if they cant then draft DE Nick Bosa and call it a day.

  44. There has to be some way for teams below #1 to draft a contract for him to sign the day before, whereby the contract is, obviously, voided if he’s taken by somebody else when the team’s number comes up.

    Absent that kind of certainty, he’s not draftable at any spot, in any round. Take him too low, and he’s gone; taking him above “too low” is just too big a risk for too valuable a pick.

  45. I’m pretty unequivocal on this one. Give someone power, doesn’t mean they have power. You’re a 22 year old kid who hasn’t played a down in the NFL. There is little correlation between NCAA performance and the NFL (just ask 4 of 6 superstars from last year’s QB draft).

    You earn what you get before I give it to you.

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