After suffering a season-ending defeat, Kyler Murray stared down what was possibly the biggest decision of his life. In a last ditch effort, the Oakland Athletics attempted to sway the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft away from the gridiron. Signing a contract with a bonus of $4.66M last summer, the two sport star held all the cards though after winning the Heisman and receiving a first round NFL projection. Entering talks, the number Murray reportedly asked for to turn down a football future was $15M.
Regardless of how the conversation ended with Billy Beane and the Athletics, Murray opted to enter the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. In a class lacking depth at the signal caller position, the quarterback/center fielder continues to entice suitors with unrivaled athleticism and speed from both sports.
Hearing the news, others continue to weigh in on the upcoming decision. One such opinion came from a high profile name, Deion Sanders, who possesses experience in both the NFL and MLB. Speaking with ESPN, the former two sport pro said, “If I was in his shoes, I’m picking up the baseball bat, and I’m not looking back. … That’s just for me. Sometimes, I still have regret that I didn’t give it more.”
In reality, the situation Murray finds himself in remains largely uncharted territory. Playing quarterback at the NFL level demands undivided time and commitment. Splitting hours with the MLB would only be viewed as a distraction by many executives and decision makers. Regardless, the possibility seems nearly impossible unless the two teams reside in the same city.
On the flip side of the equation, playing on the MLB level is quite the accomplishment in and of itself. Players from around the world hope to graduate from the minors — an event that does not happen with regularity. Simply being drafted No. 9 overall does not guarantee a spot in an MLB lineup. At the end of the day, baseball may only provide a $4.66M signing bonus and nothing more.
At this point in time, Murray’s options remain open with 72 hours to withdraw from the NFL Draft. The only thing off the board is returning to the collegiate level of sports for this athlete.