Monday is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft, and after a whirlwind weekend, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray might have a little more clarity about his life in professional sports.
Sunday in Dallas, Murray reportedly met with executives from the Oakland Athletics and even a marketing team from Major League Baseball to discuss his future with the team, his $4.66 million contract, his potential with the NFL, and his eventual earning opportunities.
Reports Sunday ranged from Murray demanding an additional $15 million to remain with the club (WFAA-TV’s Mike Leslie) to Murray not demanding anything financially (San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser) to Murray negotiating a Major League contract for more money and a spot on the team’s 40-man roster (ESPN’s Jeff Passan).
According to Slusser’s report last week in the Chronicle, the A’s are bracing for Murray to declare for the NFL Draft, although that also could have been a play for negotiating leverage.
Spring training begins Feb. 15. The NFL Scouting Combine begins Feb. 26. Murray and his team of decision makers must make up their mind, and so must the A’s.
Murray’s original baseball deal as the A’s No. 9 overall pick was a standard minor league contract with a hefty signing bonus and an immediate future of long bus rides between minor league outposts. But it did allow him to play a season of college football, and he proved to himself and everyone else that he was the best college football player in America.
Now, upgrading that contract would be rare and would require the approval of the MLB office itself, though Passan was right when he tweeted that Murray — the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner and multiple record-setter during his short time at OU — represents a special talent who is worthy of exceptions to almost any rule.
The actual content of the Meeting in the Metroplex may never be known. And that’s fine.
Soon enough — beginning today, actually — we’ll all know a whole lot more about Kyler Murray’s next step.
Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “The Franchise Drive” every weeknight from 6-8 on The Franchise in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and appears throughout the day on other shows on The Franchise. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page. Hoover also covers the Big 12 for Sporting News and Lindy’s magazine and is a feature writer for Sooner Spectator magazine. Visit his personal page at johnehoover.com.