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Kyler Murray Demands $15 Million From The Oakland A's Or Else He's Entering The NFL Draft Tomorrow

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl - Alabama v Oklahoma

Kyler Murray could not possibly have more leverage than he does right now. He just finished off a Heisman campaign for Oklahoma and has definitely been told he would be a first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The incoming QB class is weak, especially with Oregon’s Justin Herbert going back to school. If you’re looking at the incoming QBs you’re talking about Duke’s Daniel Jones, Mizzou’s Drew Lock, and West Virginia’s Will Grier (forgot Haskins in here). You can absolutely rationalize taking Kyler Murray ahead of those guys when you see his arm talent and speed. That gives him so much leverage over the A’s.

Murray was given a $4.6 million bonus when the A’s drafted him with the 9th overall pick in 2018. Things have certainly changed since then. Murray reportedly loves football at heart, and is now in a position of power over Billy Beane and the A’s. Enough power that he wants his signing bonus more than tripled to $15 million. I respect that move so much, although I’m not entirely sure the A’s can even do that with the draft slot rules.

Update: They said they’re waiving a rule so they can. Pretty obvious MLB thinks they he’s a marketing machine and don’t want to lose him to the NFL.

Imagine Murray in Single A next year, but getting paid $15 million upfront to do so? It would be unprecedented. The first overall pick in Kyler’s draft, Casey Mize, got a $7.5 million bonus. We don’t even know if Murray will be good. The MLB draft is a crap shoot and being a top 10 pick most certainly does not guarantee you’ll even crack the majors. You assume with his speed and arm he’ll at least be an A+ outfielder, making him valuable already. His bat who knows? It’s graded very well, but translating to the big leagues is a different story. He’s definitely a guy who can potentially take the A’s to another level.

The big problem the A’s have here is that if Kyler goes to the NFL all they will be able to do is get back the original signing bonus. They’ll receive zero draft compensation for the 9th pick, and move on like they didn’t even make a pick. The only thing they’d have hope for is they’ll retain his draft rights in case football does not pan out. Essentially that whole scenario would be a disaster. All of Oakland’s executives including Billy Beane flew to Dallas today to negotiate. Major League Baseball also sent marketing executives there to show him how they can make him a star (spoiler alert they’re very bad at it, see Mike Trout). The A’s are known for not spending their money (Moneyball) but it’s tough to just let Murray walk like this. I never thought in a million years we’d be at this point, but the dominos could not have fallen in a worse way for Oakland.

If I were to predict, I’d say Kyler declares tomorrow. That wouldn’t really change much, but the A’s obviously don’t want to deal with all this over the next month. They’d rather him not declare and officially start his baseball career right now. The real decision will be if Kyler decides to go to spring training or not, if he declares tomorrow. Personally, if I’m the A’s I tell Kyler to fuck off. $15 million? Yeah okay, pal. Go play in the NFL and have your head taken off if you really want to.