Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray must decide by Monday whether to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
It comes a day after representatives from the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball met with Murray in Dallas.
Oddsmakers said there’s about a 75 percent probability that Murray will declare for this year’s draft. As a quarterback, Murray led the Oklahoma Sooners to 12-2 record during the 2018 season.
The Athletics drafted Murray with the ninth overall pick in last June’s draft. Murray signed with Oakland for $4.66 million. There was an agreement between the team and Murray that he would play football this year, then skip his senior season to begin his pro baseball career.
The argument to play football
If Murray is drafted in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft as projected by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay, he is due to make a minimum of about $9.47 million on his rookie contract based on projections from last year’s draft.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was the last first-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, signed a four-year contract worth about $9.47 million. Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, the first overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, signed a four-year deal worth about $32.68 million.
The argument against football
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (listed at 6’0”) and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (listed at 5’11”) are the only two NFL starting quarterbacks who are 6-foot tall or shorter.
The NFL Players Association found the average career length is about 3.3 years. For quarterbacks, it increases to about 4.44 years. The NFL claims the average career is about six years for players who make a team’s opening-day roster in their rookie season.
It’s also worth noting NFL contracts are not fully guaranteed.
The argument for baseball
Two star players Boras represents – Bryce Harper and Manny Machado – could sign massive contracts this offseason worth as much $300 million in fully guaranteed money.
If Murray is able to become a star baseball player, a possible massive payday from the sport alone – not counting endorsements – would surpass that of a football player.
The argument against baseball
A study published in the Spring 2017 Baseball Research Journal found 66.7 percent of the first-round MLB draft picks selected from 1996-2011 made it to the majors. Under this logic, it would leave Murray with a 33.3 percent chance of having career earnings of $4.66 million.
The study also found 46.8 percent of the first-round picks played in the majors for more than three years.
Could Murray play in both MLB and the NFL?
Two Heisman Trophy winners – Vic Janowicz and Bo Jackson – played in both MLB and the NFL.
The last athlete to play in both leagues was Deion Sanders.
Declaring for the NFL Draft would not necessarily prevent Murray from starting his baseball career. However, NFL teams typically have OTAs and minicamp in the middle of summer during the MLB regular season. Also, the NFL regular season typically starts in September each year just as the MLB pennant races start to heat up too.
A list of underclassmen who have been approved for entry into the 2019 NFL Draft will be sent to teams on Friday.
Athletics players report to spring training on Feb. 15 in Mesa, Ariz.
Note: The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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