Think about being Kyler Murray for a day.
“Gosh, ought to I play professional baseball, or professional soccer?”
What a choice.
That’s the place the 84th Heisman Trophy winner finds himself: torn between dwelling as much as the contract he signed final summer season because the first-round draft choose of the Oakland A’s, and exploring a soccer life past Norman, Okla., as a possible first-round choose within the upcoming NFL Draft.
Murray was the ninth general choose of the A’s final June, however the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday the group expects Murray will declare for the on Sunday his intentions to enter the NFL Draft. The deadline for underclassmen to take action is on Monday.
If he does flip professional, after all, that removes any consideration of returning to the Sooners in 2019 for an additional School Soccer Playoff run. However till he does formally declare, that too stays an possibility, nevertheless unlikely.
“Gee, professional soccer, professional baseball, or return to high school and perhaps attend the revealing of my Heisman statue?”
Murray signed with the A’s final 12 months with each events understanding he totally supposed to play faculty soccer for another 12 months. The A’s gave him their blessing, proper earlier than they gave him a $4.66 million signing bonus.
However Oakland need to begin seeing a return on its funding. Spring coaching begins on Feb. 15, and Murray is meant to be there. Until he’s coaching for the NFL Scouting Mix, after all. That begins on Feb. 26.
The Chronicle, citing unnamed sources, reported that Murray received’t attempt to play each professional soccer and professional baseball on the similar time. The time calls for of quarterbacking an NFL group and studying to hit MLB pitching are just too nice.
A supply additionally advised the newspaper that Murray was leaning towards soccer. One supply mentioned the membership was contemplating permitting Murray to attend the mix, which might require approval from the MLB workplace.
Mix coaching is a full-time job for prime prospects. So if Murray does present up at spring coaching, that may point out he’s not attending the mix.
Conversely, if he skips it, that’s a heavy inform towards baseball. NFL groups need to see their greatest prospects in Indianapolis. If Murray doesn’t attend, it is likely to be as a result of he’s not anticipating the sort of first- or early second-round cash that may enable him to simply pay again many of the signing bonus. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson received some $eight million assured cash this season after he was chosen with the final choose of the primary spherical. If Murray goes increased than that, he’d be slotted to obtain considerably extra money.
And Murray’s present baseball cash is all up entrance. He wouldn’t get one other large payday till 3-Four years into his profession, which doubtless would come with greater than a season or two within the drudgery of the minor leagues — after which provided that he’s made the large league membership.
For his half, Murray has been silent because the matter got here up this season. He declined to disclose whether or not he likes enjoying soccer or baseball higher. He mentioned proper earlier than profitable the Heisman in December that he wasn’t centered on baseball but, as a result of the Sooners nonetheless had Alabama looming within the Playoff. He mentioned after Oklahoma misplaced to the Tide within the Orange Bowl that it wasn’t the suitable time to speak about it but.
What concerning the notion of being the subsequent Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders or Brian Jordan? Would he need to play within the NFL and MLB on the similar time?
“I’d love to try this,” Murray mentioned. “I’ve all the time been a man with many choices. I attempt to hold ‘em open so long as doable. Yeah, if that was doable, I’d positively be open to it.”
On this age of specialization, with time calls for for skilled athletes at an all-time premium, it appears unlikely Murray would have the ability to pull that feat off. The times of athletes like Jackson, Sanders and Jordan wowing us on the gridiron and baseball diamond are up to now.
Nonetheless, baseball will all the time be there for Murray if he does select the NFL route, very like it was for former Florida nice Tim Tebow, who examined the NFL waters and now performs for the New York Mets’ minor-league affiliate.
In that sense, perhaps Murray doesn’t have to decide on in spite of everything.