It’s no secret two-sport athletes in the US can be exciting. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are just two of the most exciting names that come to mind when you think of a two-sport athlete. Both excelled greatly with their respective teams. A new star has emerged on us once again, Oklahoma quarterback and Oakland Athletics signee, Kyler Murray. The 21 year old prodigy has a decision to make, and the clock is ticking.
Now, I could go into a lengthy pros and cons list for each sport, comparing salaries, career length, endorsement opportunities, and health risks, but they would all be on the pro side of baseball, and the con side of football. Just like millions of Americans, I love NFL Sundays. It’s a great time to unwind after a long work or school week, and with legal sports betting in some states, and the excitement of Fantasy, watching is just that much more entertaining. For a player though, its not at all the same. While we watch, players deal with injuries and contract snags left and right. Taking into account the recent slew of NFL stars wanting out of their current teams, its easier to see why the MLB is the smarter financial decision. You don’t see a generational talent like Mike Trout having his name thrown out in rumors like you see with Antonio Brown and Khalil Mack of the NFL.
What we know:
The Oakland Athletics and Kyler Murray agreed to a 1 year/$5 million dollar contract in June of 2018. The contract permitted him to play his junior year of football at the University of Oklahoma. Since that day, there’s been one question on everyone’s minds: what sport will he play? Recent reports from FanCred’s Jon Heyman suggests the Athletics are willing to offer Kyler a major league contract, to choose baseball over football. It’s an interesting scenario to say the least.
We now know, based on the reports that came out on January 14th, that Kyler has declared for the NFL draft, which takes place in April of 2019. This doesn’t take baseball completely out of the picture, but if Murray is selected in the top 10 of the first round, he’s destined for a large rookie deal. There’s no doubt in anyones minds that Kyler will be drafted, most likely in the first or second round. Does playing quarterback for an NFL franchise, possibly one that he is enamored with, overtake his passion for baseball? Time will tell, but if the Athletics want to keep their young star, they have to act fast.
How does this effect the Athletics?
By offering up a major league contract to a guy who hasn’t played a ton of pro balls at all, the A’s took a big risk. They believe in Kyler a lot, but was it worth it? As stated, Murray has declared for the NFL draft, meaning he will have two teams to choose from. Another potential factor is the contract Kyler will get as a (projected) first round pick. Yes, taking baseball money is always the way to go. Its guaranteed, and contracts work in ways that favor the players more in baseball than they do in football. If Kyler chooses to play football, and the expectation is growing that he will, it could greatly effect the A’s. He could sign this big contract they are offering him, and choose to primarily play football still. A lot of money is at stake for the Athletics, and if I had a prediction for how this turns out, I’d say David Forst decided to withdraw the offer for him, and let Kyler play football full time. This wouldn’t necessarily take baseball out of the equation, but his pro ball service time would be more similar to that of Russell Wilson than Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders.
Featured Photo: ESPN.com