A’s plan ‘creative’ approach to Murray
1st-round pick has NFL option at his disposal
A meeting Sunday in Dallas might determine Kyler Murray’s sports future.
A’s executives, joined by marketing personnel from Major League Baseball, were scheduled to sit down with Murray to discuss options that might keep the Heisman Trophy winner on the diamond.
Dallas TV station WFAA reported Sunday that Murray’s price tag to forgo the NFL draft is $15 million, but a source with knowledge of the situation told The Chronicle that there was no such demand and that the sides are working on “something creative.”
Another source told The Chronicle that the A’s would like to place Murray on their 40-man roster and sign him to a major-league deal in order to provide him more compensation than the $4.66 million signing bonus he received in June.
Any alterations to Murray’s agreement with the A’s would require MLB’s approval, especially considering that there are strict rules governing how much money teams may spend in the June draft. A player of Murray’s stature, however, might be valuable enough from a publicity standpoint for the league to sweeten the deal. The presence of MLB marketing officials at Sunday’s meeting might point to additional sources of income for Murray in the form of endorsements or other opportunities outside of his contract with Oakland.
As The Chronicle previously reported, Oakland officials expect Murray to declare for
the NFL draft by Monday’s deadline. Oakland selected the Oklahoma outfielder and quarterback with the ninth pick overall in June’s majorleague draft and his deal requires him to report to spring training Feb. 15 after he received a nonroster invite to big-league camp.
The Chronicle reported Wednesday that the A’s were considering allowing Murray to attend the NFL combine next month, but such a move would require reconfiguring his contract and would require MLB approval, which is not a given. One source told The Chronicle on Sunday that it’s far more likely that Murray simply will have to choose between football and baseball before spring training begins.
Murray, 21, is listed at 5foot-10 but stands closer to 5-foot-9 — small for an NFL quarterback. NFL analysts don’t agree on where he might be drafted, with estimates ranging from high in the first round to all the way to the third round.
After Oakland drafted him in June, Murray said the comparison he hears most often on the baseball field is with A’s Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson. Many evaluators believe that once his focus is entirely on baseball, Murray could be an All-Star.
Should Murray decide to jump to the NFL, he would have to repay his signing bonus, but the A’s will not receive a compensation in this June’s draft. Oakland retains Murray’s baseball rights, and it’s entirely possible that, even if he is drafted by an NFL team, he might wind up playing for the A’s down the line and, depending on in which round he’s drafted, perhaps sooner than later.
A’s first-round draft pick Kyler Murray won the Heisman Trophy and could opt for an NFL career.