Following much debate over whether he should play baseball or football, Kyler Murray has figured out a way to do both, while keeping everyone happy.
After being selected No. 9 overall in the MLB Draft this week as an outfielder, Murray has reportedly reached a deal with the Oakland Athletics that will allow him to play one final season of quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the A’s will pay Murray “close to $5 million,” right around the $4.7 million slot value for the ninth pick.
Kyler Murray and the A's have a deal that guarantees him close to $5M and allows him to play football (he's a QB and could be Baker Mayfield's replacement) at Oklahoma for 1 year.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 6, 2018
This arrangement appears to represent a compromise for Murray and the A’s. Murray gets to play another season of football, likely replacing Baker Mayfield as starting quarterback in Norman, while the Athletics get assurance that he will join them after next football season, despite retaining a total of two years of college eligibility.
Murray was a top recruit out of high school, signing with Texas A&M before transferring to Oklahoma. Last season he completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 142 yards on 14 carries. Despite being considered too small to play quarterback in the NFL, he made clear after being drafted by the Athletics on Monday that he intended to continue playing football, to the delight of Sooners coach Lincoln Riley.
Statement from head coach Lincoln Riley on Kyler Murray: pic.twitter.com/j4Mhl1qgWP
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) June 5, 2018
Ultimately, Murray is taking a pretty substantial risk by playing another season of football, even while knowing his future is in baseball. What if he tears his ACL playing quarterback and loses the speed that makes him, according to a scout interviewed by Heyman, “a Rickey Henderson type.” What if he suffers a serious concussion that pops up again during his career on the diamond?
But if he really wants to play football and the Athletics are willing to let him (and fork over $5 million), good for him. Some people really can manage to have it all.