Kyler Murray is a rare talent, and he’s going to make sure that he gets paid like it. The Oklahoma quarterback and this year’s Heisman Trophy winner was also the ninth overall selection of last year’s MLB Draft, which puts him in a strange position as the entry deadline for the 2019 NFL Draft approaches — he could go in the first round of that one, too.
So, now Murray has to make the decision of which league to go pro in. To use a third sport for metaphor, the ball is firmly in the court of his MLB team, the Oakland A’s. They’ll have to meet his price, and it’s a lofty one.
Generally, drafted players in the MLB play on a rookie contract with a salary set by the team, generally near the league minimum, while they develop in the minor leagues. However, Murray has some rather unique leverage here with the option to switch sports, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the A’s will seriously consider offering him a major league contract at the amount he’s bargaining for.
This is obviously a lot of money to hand over to any rookie baseballer, but the A’s are obviously reticient to lose their first-round pick, especially since they wouldn’t get a compensatory pick in the 2019 draft if Murray chose football. It’s just too bad that he can’t take the Bo Jackson path and play in both, but with the complexity and training of both leagues these days, that’s seen as all but impossible.
The A’s front office, helmed by Billy Beane, will make the final pitch, and then we’ll see what happens. The NFL’s deadline to announce for the draft is Monday.