Report: A’s offered Kyler Murray additional $14M to stick to baseball – AOL

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Report: A's offered Kyler Murray additional $14M to stick to baseball - AOL

Last fall, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Kyler Murray would end up playing professional baseball.

The Oakland A’s had selected the Oklahoma outfielder with the ninth pick of the 2018 draft and signed him to a deal worth nearly $5 million.

A stipulation of the contract allowed him to play one more year of football for the Sooners, something Murray made clear was a priority to him.

“We were totally on board with his desire to play quarterback at Oklahoma,” A’s scouting director Eric Kubota told reporters last June. “Frankly, we’re kind of excited to be an Oklahoma fan for 12 games.”

A’s gamble on Murray didn’t pay off

Fast-forward to January, and Murray had won the Heisman Trophy, and Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield had helped to continue to break down the stigma against undersized quarterbacks in the NFL.

Standing at 5-10 and around 200 pounds, Murray possesses the body type that would have left him largely overlooked by NFL scouts years ago. Now he’s surefire first-round pick who may go first off the board in next week’s NFL draft.

It all added up to too strong a draw for Murray, who famously opted out of the guaranteed millions the A’s had committed to him for the chance to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL.

According to a Sports Illustrated report, Murray left a lot more money on the table than was originally thought.

25 PHOTOS

2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray

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Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray (1) warms up before an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)

Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray warms up before an NCAA college football game against Nevada Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against South Carolina, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas A&M’s quarterback Kyler Murray (1) on the field practice before the start of an NCAA college football game between Texas A&M and Western Carolina Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M defeated Western Carolina 41-17. (AP Photo/Juan DeLeon)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray during the annual Oklahoma NCAA college spring football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, April 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

FILE – In this Sept. 2, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) carries against UTEP in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla. For Lincoln Riley’s second season as head coach at Oklahoma, the Sooners have to find Heisman winner Baker Mayfield’s successor. So a big part of the coach’s first spring was determining the new starter, a process between last year’s backup Kyler Murray and redshirt Austin Kendall that continue into the summer and preseason.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Oakland Athletics draft pick Kyler Murray waits to hit during batting practice before a baseball game between the Athletics and the Los Angeles Angels in Oakland, Calif., Friday, June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray talks with the media following an NCAA college football media day in Norman, Okla., Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida Atlantic in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

FILE – In this Sept. 8, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws during an NCAA college football game between UCLA and Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, West Virginia’s Will Grier, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy and Sam Ehlinger of Texas have been impressive and could determine which teams makes it to the Dec. 1 title game in Arlington, Texas.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) and Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (2) celebrate during an NCAA college football game between Army and Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles against Texas during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Cooper Neill)

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury talks to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray (1) after an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) walks off the field following a game against Oklahoma State in an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Oklahoma won 48-47. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) gestures to his team during a play against Kansas during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Oklahoma won 55-40. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs for a touchdown ahead of Kansas defenders during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Oklahoma won 55-40. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) celebrates on the sidelines after throwing a touchdown against Oklahoma during the second half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma won 39-27. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Grant Calcaterra at the end of the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game against Texas on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (center left) is interviewed by ESPN reporter Holly Rowe (left) after receiving the MVP award while head coach Lincoln Riley (right) and Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby (center right) look on after the NCAA Big 12 Conference football championship between the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. Oklahoma defeated Texas 39-27. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

FILE – In this Dec. 1, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray hoists the Most Outstanding Player trophy after beating Texas 39-27 in the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA college football game, in Arlington, Texas. Murray was named The Associated Press college football Player of the Year, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter, File)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray holds the Heisman Trophy after winning the award Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray speaks during an NCAA college football media day on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Alabama plays Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 29. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks up, during the first half of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 29: Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners walks off the field during the College Football Playoff Semifinal game at the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 29, 2018 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Credit: mpi04/MediaPunch /IPX

MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 29: Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts after losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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A’s reportedly upped offer to Murray by $14M

SI’s Robert Klemko reports that the A’s stepped up their commitment to Murray in January with an offer of $14 million in guaranteed money in addition to his original signing bonus.

From the report:

“According to a source close to the family, the A’s contingent that visited Kyler in January offered him a contract worth $14 million in guaranteed cash, in addition to his signing bonus. (The deal would have required that Oakland take the extreme step of adding Murray to its 40-man roster and would have paid out a figure similar to that of a top 10 NFL draft pick. For context, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, who went eighth in 2018, signed a four-year deal worth $18.5 million.) But Kyler turned down that offer, and his family has kept those financials out of the media.”

Reported offer added up to first-round NFL money

So basically, the A’s offered Murray first-round NFL money to stick with baseball. It was a signifiant commitment to a baseball prospect who — like most young prospects — was far from guaranteed to develop into a contributing MLB player.

But with Murray shooting up NFL draft boards, he held significant leverage over the A’s, who were reportedly happy to dole out first-round NFL money to an unproven prospect.

Still not enough

Of course Murray turned them down and will enter next week as the biggest story of the NFL draft. Murray reportedly shunning the offer from the A’s reinforces the idea that football is his first love, something that should have been clear when he decided last fall to play the game for free rather that start his professional baseball career.

The A’s clearly coveted Murray and took a big gamble and lost when their decision to draft him and allow him to play football backfired. They apparently valued him so much, that they bucked the norms of baseball deals with the massive offer to try to keep him on board.

Ultimately the NFL lure was too strong for Murray. He’ll realize those dreams next Thursday when his name is called in the first round of the draft.

8 PHOTOS

NFL teams Kyler Murray is most likely to suit up for Week 1

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8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +2000

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-6. Miami Dolphins: +700

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

T-6. Broncos: +700

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

5. Arizona Cardinals: +500

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

4. Washington Redskins: +450

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

3. New York Giants: +350

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

2. Jacksonville Jaguars: +300

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

1. Oakland Raiders: +250

Via OddsShark

(Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)

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