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Thursday, January 10, 2019

A’s expect top pick Kyler Murray to enter NFL draft

The A’s expect Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, the team’s top pick last June, to declare for the NFL draft on Sunday, multiple sources told The Chronicle on Wednesday.

Declaring for the draft does not guarantee that Murray, an outfielder Oakland selected ninth overall, will decide to reject his $4.66 million deal with the A’s outright, but it certainly increases the chances that Oklahoma’s star quarterback will decide to go pro in football rather than baseball….

Should Murray, 21, opt to enter the NFL draft, the real question will come Feb. 15 when A’s position players report to Mesa, Ariz. — Murray has an invite to big-league camp. He could still opt to be in the A’s camp, but the NFL scouting combine begins Feb. 26 and any high-round hopeful would be expected to attend. That’s when Murray would have to make a decision between football and baseball, and one source told The Chronicle that Murray, a likely first-round NFL pick, is leaning toward football.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 102 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics

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   1. Khrushin it bro Posted: January 10, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5804174)
Sheeeeeiiiittttt!
   2. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5804200)
Murray would have to be drafted in the first 15 picks for it to make long term sense for him to play football. It doesn't seem likely that will be the case.

I wonder what his representatives are telling NFL teams. No one's going to spend a first round pick on him unless they've been promised he will sign, but it makes no sense for him to promise to sign unless he goes higher than he's likely to.

But there doesn't seem to be a downside for him in throwing himself into the draft pool and seeing whether one team out there is willing to overdraft and overpay him. If not, then baseball it is.

But I've been skeptical since the day the A's drafted him that he really would rather spend the next few years in Beloit and Stockton instead of as an NFL quarterback. I think he will go to the NFL unless he drops way lower in the draft than anyone expects.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:12 PM (#5804209)
I wonder what his representatives are telling NFL teams. No one's going to spend a first round pick on him unless they've been promised he will sign, but it makes no sense for him to promise to sign unless he goes higher than he's likely to.

What are the NFL draft rules for an unsigned pick? Is there compensation in the next draft, like in MLB?
   4. JJ1986 Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5804210)
I don't think he'll go top 15. The Raiders with three first-round picks should probably just take him with one of the later two, but I assume Gruden is content with Nathan Peterman.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:17 PM (#5804214)
Murray would have to be drafted in the first 15 picks for it to make long term sense for him to play football. It doesn't seem likely that will be the case.

Can you explain this? I'm not much of an NFL fan so I'm not doubting you, but I remember looking at recently drafted NFL QB's a few months ago when I first became aware of Murray and thinking that anywhere in the first two rounds of the NFL draft probably made it a wash from a financial standpoint.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5804218)
made it a wash from a financial standpoint.


But then you have to factor in the brain damage.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:25 PM (#5804219)
But then you have to factor in the brain damage.

And knee damage, and spinal damage, and hand damage.

Being able to walk without pain when you're 50 is a nice feature of an MLB career.
   8. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:33 PM (#5804225)
Irrespective of whether he plays football or baseball, this was a TERRIBLE pick by the A's. There's a pretty good chance that they threw away a top 10 draft pick.
   9. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5804230)
Can you explain this? I'm not much of an NFL fan so I'm not doubting you, but I remember looking at recently drafted NFL QB's a few months ago when I first became aware of Murray and thinking that anywhere in the first two rounds of the NFL draft probably made it a wash from a financial standpoint.


The spot in the draft that will guarantee him about the same amount of money the A's did is probably somewhere around pick 10-15 of the second round (32 picks per round). A year ago, a somewhat-similar quarterback named Lamar Jackson was picked with the last pick of the first round, pick #32, got a signing bonus just under $5 million. You also have to factor in that any quarterback drafted in the first two rounds is going to stick around at least as a backup for 5 years, at the NFL minimum salary of around $800,000 a year, whereas the median expectancy of years on a major league roster for a mid-first round pick in the MLB draft is zero.

But I do think it's important to factor in the extreme abuse your body and brain take, playing in the NFL. That's why I think long term, he needs to secure the $8-10 million guarantee that a quarterback picked in the top half of the first round would get.

He is generally expected to go in the late first round. I'd play baseball if the money is similar, as it would be in that scenario. But as I said, you have to consider that this is a 21-year-old making the immediate choice between spending his early 20s playing baseball in front of crowds in the hundreds in Nowhereville or being a quarterback with millions watching him on TV every weekend. Unless he somehow crashes into the third round and has to take half as much money as the A's offered--extremely unlikely--he is probably going to choose the latter.

Put more simply--I'm nearly 40, and my advice to any 21-year-old in his situation would be to play baseball and stash two-thirds of his signing bonus in an untouchable investment account. But when I was 21, I would have chosen the NFL.

What are the NFL draft rules for an unsigned pick? Is there compensation in the next draft, like in MLB?


There is not, though IIRC as long as you tender him an appropriate offer you continue to own his rights. If he decides later to play football, it will be for you, if you drafted him.

Irrespective of whether he plays football or baseball, this was a TERRIBLE pick by the A's. There's a pretty good chance that they threw away a top 10 draft pick.


"Terrible" probably isn't anywhere near the adjective A's ownership would choose for the prospect of saving nearly $5 million. :)
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5804232)
Irrespective of whether he plays football or baseball, this was a TERRIBLE pick by the A's. There's a pretty good chance that they threw away a top 10 draft pick.

If he doesn't sign, they get a comp pick in after the 9th pick next year. Not a terrible pick.
   11. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5804233)

OK, thanks. So the conclusion is actually similar to mine -- choose baseball for the health reasons, but on a financial basis it's probably a wash through somewhere in the second round. Well, actually, my conclusion was to choose whichever sport you like more, as you'll have a higher likelihood of success in that one, and you'll have more fun doing it.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5804234)

The spot in the draft that will guarantee him about the same amount of money the A's did is probably somewhere around pick 10-15 of the second round (32 picks per round).


Right, the first contract is a wash, so why not play the sport you prefer, which is clearly football? He also probably has a better chance of earning a second contract in football (higher risk of injury, but higher bust rate in baseball for minor leaguers?). MLB would give him a chance to earn more overall money, but it seems like football has the opportunity to make more money quicker, plus he can ride first class to New York and LA next year rather than riding a bus in Idaho.

Of course, there are the concussion issues.
   13. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5804237)
If he doesn't sign, they get a comp pick in after the 9th pick next year. Not a terrible pick.
Murray already signed with Oakland. Oakland wouldn't pay out most of the bonus if Murray plays football but that pick is gone no matter what.
   14. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5804238)
Andrew McCutchen, speaking from experience, summed it up succinctly a few years ago in a Players Tribune article on why more black star high school athletes don't play baseball and take college football scholarships instead: "You can spend your Saturdays playing in a stadium full of 100,000 screaming fans, or eating cereal in Altoona."
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:00 PM (#5804239)
If he washes out of the NFL, is it plausible that he might resurrect his baseball career?
   16. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5804241)
If he washed out of the NFL, is it plausible that he might resurrect his baseball career?


He's a position player, so it would be far easier for him to wash out of baseball and then go back to football than to do the reverse. Not that football is easy to pick up at the NFL level, but years away from live pitching would dramatically devalue his stock as a hitter.

If he were a pitcher, then trying football first would be more plausible, I think.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5804243)
The spot in the draft that will guarantee him about the same amount of money the A's did is probably somewhere around pick 10-15 of the second round (32 picks per round).

Murray has more leverage than all those guys, he can pursue a baseball career. If a NFL team uses a high draft choice on him, they're either willing to try to buy him out of that option, or risking a lot that playing in the NFL is more appealing to him. Sure, they'd like to buy him out as cheaply as possible, but they probably should not be overly concerned with prior slot values if they select Murray. Seems like an iffy pick unless you're confident about his ability. The later rounds of the draft might be a different story if he's still available. Might be able to get an eventual bargain if it turns out Murray can't hit Major League pitching.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:13 PM (#5804249)
Irrespective of whether he plays football or baseball, this was a TERRIBLE pick by the A's. There's a pretty good chance that they threw away a top 10 draft pick.
I dunno, if he repeatedly affirmatively represented to the A's that he was committed to baseball (as I believe he did to the media?), it seems like they could/should be entitled to some compensation from him for their reliance on his statements in drafting him (separate from the compensation they receive from MLB in next year's draft). Not my area of the law, but promissory estoppel?
   19. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5804250)
I dunno, if he repeatedly affirmatively represented to the A's that he was committed to baseball (as I believe he did to the media?), it seems like they could/should be entitled to some compensation from him for their reliance on his statements in drafting him (separate from the compensation they receive from MLB in next year's draft). Not my area of the law, but promissory estoppel?


Such compensation, to whatever extent it exists, would have to be in the contract he signed. If the A's didn't include stipulations that we only owe you $X or you have to pay back Y% of your signing bonus if you aren't in spring training, or if you sign an NFL contract, or whatever, that's on them. All that stuff was to be negotiated.

In other words, if Murray's agent told them "100% my client wants to play baseball and will play for you for $X," it's up to the A's to say "Wonderful! Then you and your client can surely have no objection to the contract stipulating that he has to pay back the entire signing bonus if he signs an NFL contract, right?"

That's how you find out what the other party in a negotiation is really thinking. What they say is worth nothing if it isn't attached to action.

edit: Though I'm sure the A's baseball people will be furious if Murray spurns them after all, I personally suspect ownership has been rooting all along for him to choose football and save them a couple million bucks.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5804252)
Ah, thanks, I guess I could have read the excerpt more closely to learn that he had already signed with the A's.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5804256)

Andrew McCutchen, speaking from experience, summed it up succinctly a few years ago in a Players Tribune article on why more black star high school athletes don't play baseball and take college football scholarships instead: "You can spend your Saturdays playing in a stadium full of 100,000 screaming fans, or eating cereal in Altoona."


I heard an interview with Cutch's HS baseball coach and he said something like "high schoolers would rather play under the Friday Night Lights than play on a rock-filled baseball field behind the parking lot on Saturday morning"


Such compensation, to whatever extent it exists, would have to be in the contract he signed. If the A's didn't include stipulations that we only owe you $X or you have to pay back Y% of your signing bonus if you aren't in spring training, or if you sign an NFL contract, or whatever, that's on them. All that stuff was to be negotiated.


I don't know how common it is, but I know the Royals spaced out the payment of Bubba Starling's bonus because of the chance he could split to play college football. The Royals were burned about 15 years ago by a kid named Roscoe Crosby who took their first round bonus, spent a year diddling around in the minors, then went to South Carolina to play football.
   22. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:27 PM (#5804257)
To be fair, outside of kickers, quarterback is probably the least physically damaging position to play in the NFL. Not that there is a guarantee you will stay healthy obviously, but quarterbacks these days get a lot of protection from the rules and the umpires.

And of course there is no guarantee you don't pick up concussions or other serious injuries in baseball, in collisions at second or home, or taking a baseball to the noggin. Or because Manny Machado decides to smack your head with a baseball bat, or stomp on your ankle.
   23. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:30 PM (#5804260)
To be fair, outside of kickers, quarterback is probably the least physically damaging position to play in the NFL. Not that there is a guarantee you will stay healthy obviously, but quarterbacks these days get a lot of protection from the rules and the umpires.


This is true, but only to the extent it's true that guards are the shortest guys on NBA teams. Most NBA guards are still hugely tall by everyday standards! Even playing quarterback gets your body ###### up really bad, relative to just about any standard you could apply to baseball players. Getting crushed by a guy half again your weight, moving at top speed, who you didn't see coming until the last instant before impact, is doubleplusungood for your brain and your body both. And even top quarterbacks behind really good blockers suffer at least a couple such hits per game.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5804262)
"You can spend your Saturdays playing in a stadium full of 100,000 screaming fans, or eating cereal in Altoona."
What's so bad about cereal?
   25. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5804263)
Such compensation, to whatever extent it exists, would have to be in the contract he signed. If the A's didn't include stipulations that we only owe you $X or you have to pay back Y% of your signing bonus if you aren't in spring training, or if you sign an NFL contract, or whatever, that's on them. All that stuff was to be negotiated.

In other words, if Murray's agent told them "100% my client wants to play baseball and will play for you for $X," it's up to the A's to say "Wonderful! Then you and your client can surely have no objection to the contract stipulating that he has to pay back the entire signing bonus if he signs an NFL contract, right?"

I am not sure such stipulations would be legal in major league special covenants. I am not sure that it wouldn't be. But I am also not sure if it is.
   26. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:35 PM (#5804266)
What does it mean to say that a draftee "signed"? If it's "signed a contract to play baseball and received $X to play" wouldn't that give the A's some legal recourse here? Suing for specific performance might not be a good look, but I doubt this kid has the money to pay the A's whatever money they would lose by losing out on a first-round draft pick. I guess he could just retire, I'm pretty sure the UPC allows that...
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5804267)
Suing for specific performance might not be a good look,
This much I remember from 1L - you can't ever get specific performance of a personal services contract, because it amounts to indentured servitude. Which is indeed not a good look.
   28. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5804271)
This contract has stipulations such that the real cost for Oakland isn't going to be money spent on Murray (I've seen that he'll get between zero and very little if he quits football tomorrow) but the opportunity cost of not picking someone else.
   29. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5804273)
What does it mean to say that a draftee "signed"? If it's "signed a contract to play baseball and received $X to play" wouldn't that give the A's some legal recourse here? Suing for specific performance might not be a good look, but I doubt this kid has the money to pay the A's whatever money they would lose by losing out on a first-round draft pick. I guess he could just retire, I'm pretty sure the UPC allows that...

Well the issue here in particular is that the money the A's paid is a signing bonus. Which is explicitly not what he is being paid to play baseball. The amount he is being paid to actually play baseball, is his base salary. And if he stops playing (absent things like injuries), the A's can indeed stop paying him any future base salary.

But MLB has fairly strict rules on what kind of performance clauses you can tie to bonus payments, and for what kind of things you can fine players. And I would be shocked if the Player's Union allows clawing back signing bonuses absent something like outright fraud.
   30. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5804276)
And I suppose that the A's can't sue him for the value of the draft pick, since they got their draft pick.
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5804280)
From the Standard Minor League Uniform Contract:

“If player fails to report for, or abandons Club without permission and is absent from Club for a material portion, or for at least two weeks, of any playing season (which includes the championship season, any training required by Club in preparation for such championship season and any post-season that the team or affiliate to which Player is assigned participates) during the term of this Minor League Uniform Player Contract (“UPC”),

Player shall relinquish and forfeit any right to, and Club shall not be obligated to pay, any portion of the amount not yet paid pursuant to the payment schedule set forth in this signing provision and
Player shall immediately return and refund to the Club, and relinquish and forfeit any right to, that portion of the signing bonus already paid to Player by Club, regardless of the year of payment, that exceeds the amount of signing bonus already paid to Player by Club (i) multiplied by the number of champion-ship seasons Player reported to, and did not subsequently abandon without permission, Club and (ii) divided by the number of championship seasons covered by the team of this UPC.”


Also, according to that blog "Bonus payments are typically split 50/50 and paid over 2 years. "
   32. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:03 PM (#5804288)
To be fair, outside of kickers, quarterback is probably the least physically damaging position to play in the NFL. 

He's not someone to just hang out in the pocket, though. He had 140 carries this year. It's a big part of what makes him good. He's going to endure a lot of punishment if he chooses football.
   33. Zonk Totally Exonerated by Total BS Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5804289)
This contract has stipulations such that the real cost for Oakland isn't going to be money spent on Murray (I've seen that he'll get between zero and very little if he quits football tomorrow) but the opportunity cost of not picking someone else.


Right.

IAC - I agree that it was a dumb pick by a usually smart organization.

If Murray was/is a 1/1 type of guy - I could see rolling the dice... but he's not... and I don't think last year's draft class was even a particularly strong one.

The ONLY way I could see this making sense would have been if Murray had signed - clawback in case of football clauses or not - for well under slot. Looking back - the A's pick was slotted at 4.76m and Murray signed for 4.66m.... so not even much of a savings they could splurge with in later rounds.

They'd have been better off playing hardball - and skipping the FB clawback - at something like 3.5 to 4m. Not familiar enough with the A's 2018 class to know if they took any later round signability fliers, but that's what I'd have done with Murray.

   34. Ziggy's screen name Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:07 PM (#5804291)
Okay, so he doesn't get to keep the signing bonus. Does he still have to pay taxes on it? Getting $2m, giving back $2m, and then paying taxes (and maybe agent fees) on $2m would sure hurt.
   35. Zach Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5804293)
Ignoring issues of personal preference, quarterback is such a well compensated position that any team willing to consider you as a starter or primary backup has to be taken seriously. A first or second round quarterback will be given every opportunity to succeed.

A year ago, a somewhat-similar quarterback named Lamar Jackson was picked with the last pick of the first round, pick #32, got a signing bonus just under $5 million.

And he has good prospects of a lot more down the road.
   36. JL72 Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:31 PM (#5804297)
If Murray was/is a 1/1 type of guy - I could see rolling the dice... but he's not... and I don't think last year's draft class was even a particularly strong one.


If last year's baseball draft class was not a strong one, perhaps the A's picked him hoping he play football and allowing the A's to shift that pick into next year (assuming it is a better class).
   37. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:38 PM (#5804299)
A first or second round quarterback will be given every opportunity to succeed.


And be given chances and new contracts over and over again, no matter how many times they fail. It's called The Sam Bradford Principle (or the Mark Sanchez Effect).
   38. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5804302)
Just based on his size, I think Murray is probably being overly hopeful about his chances in the NFL and its draft. He's listed at 5'11", 194, but I doubt he's either one of those things. More like 5'9", 180. Scouts will be leery of him and there's a reasonable concern that he'll snap in half the first time he faces a professional defense.

See for comparison Doug Flutie, who was about the same size, drafted in the 11th round. To make a decent living he kicked around the USFL, spent time as a backup, and by the age of 28 was in Canada. The only way he'd been able to take snaps as an NFL starter at that point was by scabbing during a strike. It wasn't until he'd broken every record in the CFL book that another NFL team took a chance on him.

Maybe Murray has it in him to pursue the same path. I kinda doubt it, though. Flutie didn't have a fat baseball contract waiting for him when he decided to do the USFL thing. Maybe you'd rather play in a huge stadium on Saturday than in Altoona, but do you really want to play in a dome in Winnipeg?
   39. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 04:58 PM (#5804303)
Blaine Gabbert might be the golden example there. He was damn near the worst quarterback ever after the Jaguars invested a high first round pick in him--and now he's 29, just finished his eighth season in the NFL (and fourth team) and came within a whisker of starting a playoff game this year.

A lot of that is because Gabbert (and Sam Bradford) has a prototypical NFL quarterback body--6'4", lanky, huge hands. Kyler Murray is 5'10". If he isn't notably successful in his first two years in the NFL, he's going to be told to switch to a different position or find another line of work.
   40. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 10, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5804304)
. . . but do you really want to play in a dome in Winnipeg?

Only in a dome there.
   41. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: January 10, 2019 at 05:03 PM (#5804305)
I'm reminded of a star college quarterback from 15 years ago named Antwaan Randle El. He played at Indiana rather than Oklahoma and wasn't as big a star as Murray, but the same profile--black, 5'10", blazing fast, good enough arm. He was taken with the last pick in the second round and immediately told "your quarterback days are over; you're a wide receiver." He had a successful nine year career in the NFL, including throwing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl on a trick play. He made more than $20 million. He now suffers from debilitating post-concussive problems and gave an interview a couple years ago saying he regrets ever playing football.

I think NFL teams are a little bit more willing to give a guy like that a shot as a quarterback--but not a ton more willing. If he isn't quickly successful, he's going to be told to switch positions. He knows what the upsides of choosing the NFL are. If he was my family member and asked me for advice, I would try to locate Antwaan Randle El and ask him to take a few minutes to tell Kyler about the downsides.
   42. SoSH U at work Posted: January 10, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5804307)

I'm reminded of a star college from 15 years ago named Antwaan Randle El. He played at Indiana rather than Oklahoma and wasn't as big a star as Murray, but the same profile--black, 5'10", blazing fast, good enough arm. He was taken with the last pick in the second round and immediately told "your quarterback days are over; you're a wide receiver." He had a successful nine year career in the NFL, including throwing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl on a trick play. He also now suffers from debilitating post-concussive problems and gave an interview a couple years ago saying he regrets ever playing football.


And a 14th-round draft pick by the Cubs coming out of high school.
   43. PreservedFish Posted: January 10, 2019 at 05:57 PM (#5804320)
He now suffers from debilitating post-concussive problems and gave an interview a couple years ago saying he regrets ever playing football.

He was a fun player to watch. What a sad ending to that account.
   44. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5804323)
(and a bench player for indiana's men's hoops team. impressive athlete, mr. randel el.)

if i'm murray and i don't have a super strong preference for one sport or the other - i declare for the nfl draft - say "don't pick me unless it is spot X or higher / you'll pay me Y or more". draft day comes and goes and then i know what i'm doing next.
   45. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:01 PM (#5804324)
. . . but do you really want to play in a dome in Winnipeg?

Only in a dome there.

Oh come on, Winnipeg doesn't have a dome. Only Toronto and Vancouver do in the CFL.
   46. Zonk Totally Exonerated by Total BS Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:11 PM (#5804331)
If Murray was/is a 1/1 type of guy - I could see rolling the dice... but he's not... and I don't think last year's draft class was even a particularly strong one.



If last year's baseball draft class was not a strong one, perhaps the A's picked him hoping he play football and allowing the A's to shift that pick into next year (assuming it is a better class).


Then like I said - you play hardball on the bonus. ~100k under slot at #9 is not hardball. Looking back, I don't see (m)any boards that even had Murray top 10. Granted, it's hard to find good 'true talent' draft boards - most of the lists I looked at mentioned the football issue as a factor, but still. He wasn't a consensus - let's say top 5 talent. This wasn't/isn't even Bo Jackson (who went in the 4th round, BTW). It was a long time ago, so my memory may be skewed - but Bo, IIRC, really stratified analysts. Everybody thought he was a world class talent, but it was a lot of "high ceiling/high bust" even with the FB question. I'm not going to bother with conference/era normalization - but Bo Jackson had markedly better NCAA baseball numbers than does Murray.

If the A's just wanted to penny pinch, they'd have been better off taking someone like Brice Turang - who was seen as a 1/1 when he was so/jr (in HS, granted) and really just didn't 'explode' his senior year. Same kind of lottery ticket, no FB questions, still something of a signability question (folks thought he might go to college to rebuild his draft stock), probably would settled for less than 4m (he signed with the Brewers in the late 20s for something like 3.5m).

Signing Murray at more or less slot is the mistake here. It's debatable he'd be worth that without football.
   47. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:14 PM (#5804332)
So, weird question: why aren't there more cheap domes in smaller, northern cities? There are a handful - Fargo, Tacoma, Northern Iowa, Flagstaff, Pocatello, etc... these 15-20k seat buildings, made cheaply, that serve lots of functions. (Not all are technically domes, whatever) This model wouldn't work for Winnipeg but it seems like a nice, inexpensive utilitarian option.
---
Heh - I was listening to a bit on the drafting of Turang as I saw your post, Zonk.
I don't think it's the core issue here but I, for one, thought Murray was a real reach at #9. But those are professional scouts and I'm in my mom's metaphorical basement so take that for what it's worth.
   48. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:15 PM (#5804333)

if i'm murray and i don't have a super strong preference for one sport or the other - i declare for the nfl draft - say "don't pick me unless it is spot X or higher / you'll pay me Y or more". draft day comes and goes and then i know what i'm doing next.


The articles I've read suggest he has to choose before then, but I'm not entirely clear why. My guess is he forfeits his deal with the A's when he doesn't report to camp in February, but the A's would still retain his rights and I presume they could work out a new deal - but for much less money with Murray's reduced leverage?
   49. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:26 PM (#5804337)
i think that's how it works too, max, but draft day ain't february - right? admittedly, i should defer to others more in the know.
   50. Zonk Totally Exonerated by Total BS Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:37 PM (#5804340)
Heh - I was listening to a bit on the drafting of Turang as I saw your post, Zonk.
I don't think it's the core issue here but I, for one, thought Murray was a real reach at #9. But those are professional scouts and I'm in my mom's metaphorical basement so take that for what it's worth.


Well, I trust your boards better than mine - if you're just a guy in mom's basement, I'm the one who drops by to play video games and crash on the couch :-)

It's probably just overweighting some old BA article when he was The Next Big Thing (and he was all of 15), but if I had a black chip to lay on someone else's dime.... I think Turang might well end up being the steal of the draft. The Brewers had to go overslot, but him - I do think is a top 10 talent and that's the sort of situation where, were I in the A's position, I might reached and then played bonus hardball.

I was hoping he might even slide a couple more slots to the Cubs, though oddly - I think Nico Hoerner might well be the college (and RHB) version of Turang based on a strong fall league.

Still, I think the Brewers will end up with a steal. We'll see if he develops some pop.
   51. The Yankee Clapper Posted: January 10, 2019 at 06:41 PM (#5804342)
The articles I've read suggest he has to choose before then, but I'm not entirely clear why. My guess is he forfeits his deal with the A's when he doesn't report to camp in February, but the A's would still retain his rights and I presume they could work out a new deal - but for much less money with Murray's reduced leverage?

Why not just report to spring training? Murray can still declare for the draft and indicate he'd choose football if the NFL makes a sufficiently attractive offer.
   52. bigglou115 is not an Illuminati agent Posted: January 10, 2019 at 09:33 PM (#5804395)
Why not just report to spring training? Murray can still declare for the draft and indicate he'd choose football if the NFL makes a sufficiently attractive offer.


Because it would be pointless. If he skips the combine to report to spring training he won't go in the first 2 rounds, kn which case the money is better to play baseball.
   53. JJ1986 Posted: February 11, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5814303)
Murray is committing to football.
   54. base ball chick Posted: February 11, 2019 at 01:08 PM (#5814311)
unsurprised

he thinks he can return to baseball if he doesn't get anywhere with football and i'm sure is hoping to be a high draft pick and get a nice contract which of course, is not guaranteed

he's a really tiny guy for a QB - i mean, like comparing jose altuve to oso blanco
   55. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 11, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5814318)
Murray is committing to football.
"Committing" being a rather flexible word in his vocabulary.
   56. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 11, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5814332)
It looks like he'll keep $21k of his bonus (returning 1.29m, was going to get the other 3.16m on 3/1); A's retain his rights and will put him on the resticted list
   57. Panik on the streets of London (Trout! Trout!) Posted: February 11, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5814342)
I hate that he is picking football. I realize all the faults of MLB and all the incentives for people to choose football. But damned if it doesn't still hurt my feelings that someone embarrassed baseball on the national stage. Football sucks.
   58. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 11, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5814357)

I don't see how this embarrasses baseball. The guy entered the MLB draft when he wasn't an NFL prospect worth speaking of. Then he won the Heisman Trophy. Circumstances change.

I suspect we will see him on a baseball diamond again one day. Maybe not in MLB, but even as a first round draft pick making the majors is far from assured.
   59. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 11, 2019 at 02:22 PM (#5814360)
I don't see how he is drafted in the first round by the NFL. Teams aren't clamoring for 5'10" QBs.

He'll be back in baseball at some point.
   60. Greg Pope Posted: February 11, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5814370)
I'm reminded of a star college quarterback from 15 years ago named Antwaan Randle El. He played at Indiana rather than Oklahoma and wasn't as big a star as Murray, but the same profile--black, 5'10", blazing fast, good enough arm. He was taken with the last pick in the second round and immediately told "your quarterback days are over; you're a wide receiver." He had a successful nine year career in the NFL, including throwing a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl on a trick play. He made more than $20 million. He now suffers from debilitating post-concussive problems and gave an interview a couple years ago saying he regrets ever playing football.

Boy, up until that last sentence I was thinking that you were describing a success story.
   61. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 11, 2019 at 02:38 PM (#5814372)

I don't see how he is drafted in the first round by the NFL. Teams aren't clamoring for 5'10" QBs.

I saw two ESPN analysts who currently have him as the #8 and #13 pick.
   62. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 11, 2019 at 02:40 PM (#5814373)
Randel El, incidentally, recently became a coach for the TB Bucs. I'd like to hear an interview with him now about his past stance on football...
   63. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 11, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5814374)
I don't see how he is drafted in the first round by the NFL. Teams aren't clamoring for 5'10" QBs.

The vast majority of the mock drafts I've seen have him going in the middle of the first round.
   64. JL72 Posted: February 11, 2019 at 03:01 PM (#5814376)
The vast majority of the mock drafts I've seen have him going in the middle of the first round.


Pro football and how its views the quarterback have really changed in the last 10 years or so. Between the RPO, fewer snaps under center, and seemingly more rollouts, it is not clear that a quarterback needs to be over six foot tall. Or at least teams are open to that no longer being a requirement.
   65. JJ1986 Posted: February 11, 2019 at 03:04 PM (#5814378)
I thought Murray would go in the late first round without committing to football, but he could go as high as the 5-10 range now.
   66. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 11, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5814381)
Russell Wilson dropped to the third round in large part because of his height. He's listed as 5'11 but is likely an inch or two shorter than that. Drew Brees is listed at six feet even, which is probably a little generous. Baker Mayfield isn't much taller.

It's my sense that while it's not an advantage to be six feet or under, it certainly possible to succeed at that height.
   67. puck Posted: February 11, 2019 at 03:20 PM (#5814382)
Does Kyler Murray have anything in common with Randel-El as a football player other than they were both black QB's in college? Murray seems nothing like Randel-El as a passer. Or really like Lamar Jackson, who ran more and threw less often (and less effectively). Murray's size is definitely a question mark but his passing is what makes him intriguing to the NFL.
   68. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 11, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5814426)
Does Kyler Murray have anything in common with Randel-El as a football player other than they were both black QB's in college?

Randle El was also drafted in baseball -- in the 14th round by the Cubs out of high school -- but chose to play football at Indiana (and eventually in the NFL) instead. Since then he has made some comments about regretting his choice given the health effects of playing football. I think that is why people have brought him up.
   69. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 11, 2019 at 05:29 PM (#5814431)
Randle El didn’t hesitate when asked if he regrets playing football.

“If I could go back, I wouldn’t,” he said. “I would play baseball. I got drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round, but I didn’t play baseball because of my parents. They made me go to school. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game of football. But, right now, I could still be playing baseball.”


Link.
   70. base ball chick Posted: February 11, 2019 at 05:35 PM (#5814434)
if draft picks in FB get paid this year what they did last year, murray will get 12.5 mill for getting picked 15th instead of not quite 5

so, if where he actually gets picked isn't anywheres near the $$$ he got fdrom the A's, does he get his original signing fee back if he tells them that he's ready to play baseball?
   71. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 11, 2019 at 05:53 PM (#5814439)
so, if where he actually gets picked isn't anywheres near the $$$ he got fdrom the A's, does he get his original signing fee back if he tells them that he's ready to play baseball?
If that happens, the A's should offer him maybe 25% of his original contract, with a note to his agent that just says "Leverage works both ways, #######."
   72. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 11, 2019 at 07:32 PM (#5814470)
From the article...

I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews.


Does he plan on growing 4-6 inches? Unfortunately for Murray, his blazing speed, will be negated somewhat as NFL linebackers, DBs and DL are all fast. None of this outracing guys all over the field. NFL linebackers are huge and insanely fast. You'd face maybe 1-2 guys every couple of weeks in college they are incredibly quick. In the NFL, everyone is just faster.
   73. Khrushin it bro Posted: February 11, 2019 at 07:44 PM (#5814472)
This sucks as an A's fan. There's still a chance he comes back and tries out the minor leagues.
   74. . . . . . . Posted: February 11, 2019 at 08:03 PM (#5814477)
Randel El was one of the best athletes I’ve ever seen in person and I believe in the modern game he’d be a top-5 NFL draft pick as a QB. Dude was drafted by the Cubs despite being primarily baseball AND ALSO A VARSITY BASKETBALL PLAYER FOR BOB KNIGHT. Incredible.
   75. spycake Posted: February 11, 2019 at 09:01 PM (#5814484)
It looks like he'll keep $21k of his bonus


I think it is $210k:

"Kyler Murray will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million signing bonus money the Oakland A’s gave him last year."

Jeff Passan on Twitter
   76. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 11, 2019 at 09:18 PM (#5814486)
I think it is $210k:
So he gets $210,000 for...what, exactly? Breaking his contract and costing the A's a first-round pick? If that provision was in the actual contract, that's some pretty bad drafting by the A's.
   77. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: February 11, 2019 at 09:28 PM (#5814489)
Yes 210k, sorry!
   78. Cowboy Popup Posted: February 12, 2019 at 07:56 AM (#5814527)
Wouldn’t be surprised to see Kingsbury draft him whenever whichever team he coaches is up. That’s probably pretty early in the first since that team hired Kingsbury.
   79. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: February 12, 2019 at 08:26 AM (#5814534)
What's extra interesting about Antwaan Randle El is that the NFL team that drafted him with pick #62 and told him he was a wide receiver now, period, was the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose quarterback at the time was Kordell Stewart, who they'd drafted years before with pick #60 and had a nearly identical skill set (and also broke into the Steelers lineup as a receiver before moving to quarterback). So the Steelers were more willing than most teams at that time to give a running college quarterback a chance.

The only obvious difference between the two is that Stewart was four inches taller.

You'd think Randle El would have made an ideal backup for Kordell Stewart, able to run the same sorts of plays that had been engineered around Stewart's skills, but no. He was made a receiver and Stewart's backup (who almost immediately supplanted him in 2002, Randle El's rookie season, because Kordell Stewart sucked) was a big, slow, old castoff named Tommy Maddox.

Wouldn’t be surprised to see Kingsbury draft him whenever whichever team he coaches is up. That’s probably pretty early in the first since that team hired Kingsbury.


That team is the Arizona Cardinals, who draft #1. They won't take Murray #1 and he won't be there for #33. If they don't take a quarterback at #1 and he slides out of the top 15 or so it becomes possible they'll trade up into the mid-first round for him, but that seems really unlikely, and I can't imagine they'll trade down from #1 hoping Murray will still be available wherever they move down to.

He's going to end up somewhere like Buffalo or Jacksonville.
   80. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 12, 2019 at 08:43 AM (#5814537)
Oh come on, Winnipeg doesn't have a dome. Only Toronto and Vancouver do in the CFL.


Oh come on, Toronto hasn't played in a dome in a few years. They share a nice outdoor stadium with Toronto FC.

(Seriously, it's a nice stadium, and it's the perfect size for the CFL franchise (~20k) and the soccer team (~30000).)
   81. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 12, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5814539)
(Seriously, it's a nice stadium, and it's the perfect size for the CFL franchise (~20k) and the soccer team (~30000).)


It's quite a sight to see 10,000 poutine vendors wandering the stands during Argos games.
   82. PreservedFish Posted: February 12, 2019 at 08:58 AM (#5814544)
If that provision was in the actual contract, that's some pretty bad drafting by the A's.


See whatcha did there.
   83. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:06 AM (#5814548)
Er...what did I do there?
   84. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 12, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5814552)
I was going to say the Murray will regret this when he's 60 and can't walk, but by then the brain trauma should ensure he doesn't remember any of it anyway.
   85. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 12, 2019 at 10:40 AM (#5814577)
Russell Wilson dropped to the third round in large part because of his height. He's listed as 5'11 but is likely an inch or two shorter than that. Drew Brees is listed at six feet even, which is probably a little generous. Baker Mayfield isn't much taller.

It's my sense that while it's not an advantage to be six feet or under, it certainly possible to succeed at that height.
As someone who, thankfully, knows nothing about football, all of this to-do about a few inches of height calls to mind the "jeans salesmen" era of MLB player evaluation. I assume some smart (albeit misguided) people are trying to bring data to bear on the Lesser Sport as well? Is this fixation on height supported by the data?
   86. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 12, 2019 at 10:49 AM (#5814581)
So he gets $210,000 for...what, exactly? Breaking his contract and costing the A's a first-round pick? If that provision was in the actual contract, that's some pretty bad drafting by the A's.


They still have his rights if and when he gives up on football, that's something I guess.
   87. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2019 at 10:51 AM (#5814582)
I don't know what data there is, and I expect the sample size of QBs six feet and under would be too small (heh heh) to get anything meaningful out of it. There is a legitimate concern there - a taller quarterback will be able to see over and throw over the defense better than a shorter one, and there is probably some correlation between arm strength and arm length as well.

I see being short as like being slow of foot - it's not going to help you play quarterback, but if you're good at everything else, you can still succeed. Tom Brady is slow, just like Russell Wilson is short. They've done all right.
   88. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: February 12, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5814585)
All else being equal, a shorter QB is going to have more passes deflected at the line and is going to have more difficulty seeing over linemen. You don't need modern analytics to know that.

Doesn't mean that people haven't overly fixated on it, and, as noted above, it's much less of an issue for a QB who is constantly scrambling. But it's a real thing.
   89. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 12, 2019 at 11:14 AM (#5814590)
Thanks. To broaden the question, I get that the level of competition in college is very different than in the NFL, but it seems like (as an ignorant outsider) you hear all the time about super-successful college players who are already being written off has having any serious future in the NFL because of some perceived physical inadequacy. Is that an appropriate approach for football, or is it probably something that will lessen as teams move away from the eye test?
   90. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: February 12, 2019 at 01:25 PM (#5814627)
As someone who, thankfully, knows nothing about football, all of this to-do about a few inches of height calls to mind the "jeans salesmen" era of MLB player evaluation. I assume some smart (albeit misguided) people are trying to bring data to bear on the Lesser Sport as well? Is this fixation on height supported by the data?
According to this, none of the top passers in NFL history* have admitted to being 5'10" or shorter. The shortest players on this list are 5'11" and 6'. I am not an NFL expert either, but that list seems to only include QBs who are either good or excellent, which is what you would want if you are drafting a QB on the first round.

*Well, according to that measurement. I'm not saying that is to QBs what WAR is to position players in baseball. Just that it's a good starting point.
   91. akrasian Posted: February 12, 2019 at 01:30 PM (#5814630)
Adding on to what others have said about tall linemen deflecting the pass - deflected passes are much more likely to be intercepted, giving the other team possession of the ball. Also, if a ball is tipped at the line, it is then legal for the defense to basically mug whichever receiver is close to the ball - pass interference no longer applies.

There aren't that many additional tipped balls with shorter QBs, but there are some, and a lot of bad things can happen with them, and very rarely does anything good happen for the offense when it happens.
   92. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 12, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5814634)
According to this, none of the top passers in NFL history* have admitted to being 5'10" or shorter. The shortest players on this list are 5'11" and 6'.


Did you mean to put a cutoff on that list? Doug Flutie, Eddie LeBaron and Frankie Albert are all on it, although fairly far down, and all are listed at 5'10" or less.
   93. Powderhorn™, arrogant local sailing champion Posted: February 12, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5814642)
Did you mean to put a cutoff on that list? Doug Flutie, Eddie LeBaron and Frankie Albert are all on it, although fairly far down, and all are listed at 5'10" or less.
I did not. I meant to but did not include the number of QBs that I looked at, which was 15. I should have done that.

Also, Albert and LeBaron played 60-70 years ago. I don't think they're relevant to a discussion about modern football.
   94. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 12, 2019 at 02:35 PM (#5814648)
There aren't that many additional tipped balls with shorter QBs, but there are some, and a lot of bad things can happen with them, and very rarely does anything good happen for the offense when it happens.
Sure, but couldn't a shorter QB adjust the "launch angle" of his passes, as it were, to get them higher in the air more quickly? Yes, that would have some small effect on the hang time of the pass, maybe giving the defense some theoretically larger chance to intercept. And it may take a few yards off of the QB's distance on hail marys, but it wouldn't have a material effect on the vast majority of his passes.

I get that there could be issues with a shorter QB that to come into play now and then, but it's looking more and more like saying a successful QB doesn't have a real future, or is going to get knocked down multiple rounds in the draft, because of a few inches of height is a major jeans-selling overreaction. Go forth, NFL teams. Short quarterbacks, new market inefficiency.
   95. JL72 Posted: February 12, 2019 at 02:47 PM (#5814654)
Sure, but couldn't a shorter QB adjust the "launch angle" of his passes, as it were, to get them higher in the air more quickly? Yes, that would have some small effect on the hang time of the pass, maybe giving the defense some theoretically larger chance to intercept. And it may take a few yards off of the QB's distance on hail marys, but it wouldn't have a material effect on the vast majority of his passes.


I am not so sure about that. So much of the passing is anticipatory, that taking anything off the velocity is going to cause problems. Plus that QB still has to see over his OL and the DL to read the defense.

I get that there could be issues with a shorter QB that to come into play now and then, but it's looking more and more like saying a successful QB doesn't have a real future, or is going to get knocked down multiple rounds in the draft, because of a few inches of height is a major jeans-selling overreaction. Go forth, NFL teams. Short quarterbacks, new market inefficiency.


Even with my comments above, I think the NFL is changing its ideas on this. Shorter ABs don't work in the traditional NFL of the 80s and 90s. But that league no longer exists. There are fewer snaps where the QB is under center. The run-pass option has opened things up, as has more plays were the QB runs the ball. More boot legs to get the QB out of the pocket.

In general, more coaches seem to be changing their offense to fit the strengths of the player, rather than the other way around. With that comes more opportunities for shorter QBs like Murray.
   96. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 12, 2019 at 04:23 PM (#5814678)
Plus that QB still has to see over his OL and the DL to read the defense.
Yeah, but aren't those guys hunched down plowing into each other anyway?

There are fewer snaps where the QB is under center.
And even when the QB isn't in the shotgun, he drops back at least a few yards to pass. It's not like basketball where the taller guy is right up in your face all the time trying to block your shot (unless the OL really sucks, I suppose).
   97. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 12, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5814687)
Also, are defensive players in the NFL really that much taller as a whole than in college? That seems unlikely.
   98. JL72 Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5814690)
Yeah, but aren't those guys hunched down plowing into each other anyway?


Some, but probably not enough to make up 6-8 inches in height.

And even when the QB isn't in the shotgun, he drops back at least a few yards to pass. It's not like basketball where the taller guy is right up in your face all the time trying to block your shot (unless the OL really sucks, I suppose).


Somewhat. Of course the OL can't keep the DL in one spot. They will get pushed back some. And there are blitzes to account for as well.

All things being equal, taller is better. But today's NFL is a much better place for someone like Murray to try then it was 10 years ago.
   99. Master of the Horse Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5814691)
97--pro defenders are WAY faster both in speed and reaction time. The NFL term is twitch. Which translates in an amazing ability to react and get arms up to knock down passes. Combine that with being typically bigger than the typical college lineman so completing passes on a line instead of with loft can be really hard and all qbs talk about that as being an adjustment. Tipped passes are tracked because of the perceived value
   100. PreservedFish Posted: February 12, 2019 at 05:07 PM (#5814692)
Er...what did I do there?

Two meanings of the word "draft." At least I thought.
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