Boomer Sooner to the bright lights, Kyler Murray is headed to the NFL! The 2018 Heisman winner announced Monday afternoon via Twitter, that he is fully committed to playing football at the next level.
While most of the nation was excited to hear the news, as Murray has one of the brightest upsides at the QB position we have seen in quite some time, an area in the west coast was left heartbroken. In 2018, Murray was selected as the 9th overall pick in the MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics. After signing a multi-million dollar rookie contract, Murray was to return to Oklahoma for his junior year in 2018, before ultimately joining the A’s in Arizona for Spring training. However, the story was nowhere near as simple as it was planned to be. When Murray returned to Norman in the fall of 2018, he absolutely caught fire. After throwing for over 4000 yards, rushing for 1000 yards and hurling 42 TD passes, Murray received the most coveted award in America, The Heisman Trophy.
This left Murray, his family and his agent with a very tough decision to make. They could either stick with “the plan” and head to Arizona in the fall, join the NFL and become a high first round draft pick, or do the seemingly impossible, both. This decision created buzz around the media landscape. The question of where Kyler Murray would take his talents became the new craze and some may say obsession. Murray was bombarded with dozens upon dozens of interviews where he was asked the same question over and over again. “What are you going to do,” play baseball professionally, or go to the NFL. Murray responded with the same answer almost every time, “I don’t know.” The silence became frustrating but at the same time, allowed rumors to be engulfed. Reports of Murray playing both circulated around the social media, speculations of the gunslinger playing baseball for a year to try it out, then joining the NFL floated around the public scene. But the matter of the fact was this, Kyler Murray is not Bo Jackson, he is not Deion Sanders or even Micheal Jordan. It is nearly impossible to play two professional sports due to the high demands that come with today’s game and at the QB position, it is just not reasonable to do both. It became very clear, Kyler needed to choose one or the other and his decision needed to come soon, as spring training was right around the corner.
On January 14, Murray declared for the NFL draft. He did not say if he was giving up the dream of becoming a professional baseball player or even if he was attending the combine, but it was information, and was something to run with. As the days went on and no more information was gained, the belief set in that Murray very well could play both sports at the professional level. Spring training was now less than a week away and per reports, Murray had every intention of attending and participating. Then this afternoon all the rumors were finally put to bed. Murray stated that he was dedicating all his time, towards football. Although he did not officially state that he was done being apart of the Athletic’s organization, you and me both know he is never going to step on a diamond again unless it is part of a charity softball event.
If you are the Oakland Athletics, this has to be an extremely upsetting day. The Oakland Athletics are not the New York Yankees. They do not have the money to just waste a top 10, first round pick like this. They were fully planning on Murray to one day, shape into a big league star. Although they “got their money back” from his rookie contract, they will never be able to get that pick back and if you are a part of the front office, Murray will forever be the one that got away.
As for Murray himself, I wish him nothing but the best. He was an absolute joy to watch this season at the college level and I cannot wait to see what he does at the next stage. He is a once in a lifetime athlete, so it will be exciting to see what he can do at the professional platform. I hope to look back at this article exactly one year from today, and see if this decision ultimately benefited the gunslinger from Texas or if it turned out to be the worst decision he has ever made in his entire life.