Kyler Murray bet on himself, makes more than Oakland A’s payroll

Remember when so many of us believed Kyler Murray made the wrong decision choosing football over baseball?

Well, after signing a $230 million contract extension with the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, his $46.1 million annual salary will nearly match the entire payroll for the Oakland Athletics Major League Baseball team.

The connection here for those who don’t remember is the Athletics drafting Murray ninth overall in 2018, putting him in a position to choose whether he’d stick with the bat, or battle things out on the turf despite his diminutive frame.

The Athletics are only spending $48.5 million this season, and if you’re only considering their 26-man roster, he’s making about $4.2 million more.

Some called Murray’s decision a “colossal mistake,” predicting that he’d make more money in the MLB. Quarterback aficionado Joe Theisman believed Murray would struggle in the league due to his 5-foot-10 frame, acting like Russell Wilson isn’t only an inch taller at 5-foot-11. There are two modern-day examples shooting down the narrative that star quarterbacks should turn down the NFL for the MLB.

While not a top MLB pick, Wilson was drafted 140th overall by the Colorado Rockies in the 2010 MLB Draft. He played two full minor league seasons before retiring, going one season at the University of Wisconsin, and getting drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft.

Another example is arguably the best quarterback to lace them up in Tom Brady. He got drafted in the 18th round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Montreal Expos. He shot that down, and got drafted in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.

The reasoning behind people wanting Murray to lean toward baseball made sense somewhat. The average MLB salary is higher than the average NFL salary. There also isn’t a salary cap in baseball, thus there being guys like Mike Trout signing fully-guaranteed 12-year, $426 million deals. However, players like Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Deshaun Watson proved that quarterbacks can reel in the fully-guaranteed big bucks too if they’re the best in the league.

To summarize all this, Murray bet on himself, projecting that he’d be a better football player than a baseball player, which would warrant him making around the same amount or more than the best in baseball. And with his new more than lucrative deal, he’s making more than the entire team that drafted him is paying its players combined.

About the author

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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