Murray’s audible is a risk

Jesus Cano, @Juice_Cano

The Oakland Athletics took a Las Vegas-type of gamble when they picked Kyler Murray in the first round of the MLB draft.

And who could blame them?

Murray had a stellar campaign that saw his value as a baseball player skyrocket. After transferring from Texas A&M to Oklahoma, Murray had to miss his first season of college baseball, and when he came back, he wasn’t healthy and his numbers showed.

He hit a .122 average with no extra base hits.

But in the season where he garnered attention, Murray balled out. He hit for .298 and had 10 home runs. That season, a healthy Kyler Murray was a nightmare for opposing pitchers.

The Texas native’s performance landed him on the top of the draft board and eventually a $3.16 million dollar contract to play ball in Oakland. At the time, Murray was committed to be a green collar player.

Then Murray crushed the 2019 college football season.

He lead the Sooners to a Big 12 championship win, ending the season ranked No. 4 according to both coaches and the Associated Press. Individually, he had 54 overall touchdowns with the addition of over 5,000 all-purpose yards.

Murray ended up winning the coveted Heisman Trophy what seemed to be the writing on the wall for what sport he would lean more to.

Already having declared for the 2019 NFL draft, on Feb. 11 Murray declared he had sole intentions to become a NFL quarterback.

It’s a decision with Murray’s talent that totally makes sense, knowing his background.  

The 21-year-old attended Allen High School in Texas, one of the best teams in which high school football is religion to the people of the lone star state. His high school team played more packed than most MLS stadiums will ever reach.

It was a decision of heart over mind, but was it truly the best in the long run?

It’s also a Sin City gamble for Murray. He already had guaranteed money in Oakland and a lot of weight on his shoulders to be the franchise outfielder many people even comparing to Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.

Murray should have chose America’s favorite pastime. The guaranteed money was already on the table, plus the chances of him having a lengthy career are far higher.

With the massive amount and severity of the injuries in football, it is no surprise that many NFL years are done after three to four years. Baseball on the other hand, has a significantly lower injury rate, and with a huge farm system wherever.  

Murray had a rich farm system to go through, the Oakland Athletics. It has produced the likes of players such as two current gold glove winners in Matt Chapman and Matt Olson. It was almost eminent for Murray to make it with all the resources given to him.

It does not mean Murray cannot have the same success in the NFL, the only disadvantage he has is the fact that he is short for a pro quarterback at 5-foot 10-inches. But his speed has shown the to key. Murray reminds me of Michael Vick.

With the right tools, Murray can have a solid NFL career, but with baseball he could have had a career and knocked it out of the park.