According to a report from Jon Heyman (MLB Network, FRSSports.com), Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray has reached a deal with the Oakland Athletics that will allow him to play football this fall before beginning his baseball career.
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
Murray was selected with the No. 9 overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday evening, resulting in plenty of speculation about the future of the multi-sport athlete. However, Murray put much of the speculation to bed when he confirmed his plan to play football to ESPN’s Jake Trotter. The following morning, the Oakland A’s confirmed the plan.
Per NCAA rules, student-athletes are allowed to be paid to play sports for which they are not on scholarship. The assigned value for the No. 9 pick is $4,761,500.
There’s obviously a good amount of risk involved here, as he’s only 5’10” (that’s generous), 190 lbs., and has a proclivity to take off and run. However, it’s reasonable to expect that both parties have covered or will be covering all bases (pun totally intended) from a financial perspective with insurance policies and the like.
Murray, who was the No. 1-ranked quarterback of the 2015 class, has always had a high ceiling on the baseball diamond. His speed is rare in the game, and his ability at the plate continues to improve. As a redshirt sophomore in 2018, Murray hit .296 (up from .122 as a freshman) with a slugging percentage of .556, an OPS of .954 and 10 home runs.
After starting four games as a freshman at Texas A&M, Murray sat out the 2016 season following his transfer to Oklahoma. In 2017, he completed 18 of 21 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns. His ability as a runner, however, is what truly sets him apart in his QB battle with Austin Kendall. Lincoln Riley has one year to be as creative as possible with his talents, and I can’t wait to see what he cooks up. It’ll be a sight to behold.