On the sideline: Not a smart tackle for Kyler Murray

Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray announced last week that he would be fully committed to becoming an NFL quarterback, leaving behind his minor-league baseball contract and a $4.6 million bonus with the Oakland A’s.

Although Murray has had tremendous success this year with Oklahoma, passing for 4,361 yards and averaging a 69 percent completion percentage, pursuing an NFL career is not a wise decision for the quarterback.

While Murray may be signing a huge contract as a new franchise quarterback in the beginning of his career, there is a chance that he might not excel because of his small physique. The quarterback is listed at 5’10,’’, which is almost half a foot shorter than the average NFL quarterback.

Despite his physical drawbacks, height might not be a defining issue for Murray, which can be seen through the success of 5’11’’ Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and 6’0’’ New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

The main problem is the money he’ll be making in the pro league. From a financial perspective, Murray is losing out on the financial stability of playing baseball compared to football. If Murray underperforms in the NFL, his salary will take a harder hit, caused by the NFL salary cap.  

In addition, the risk of injury is higher when playing football than baseball, which might end his career early.

One example of this is former NFL and MLB player Bo Jackson, who had a future in baseball and also won a Heisman trophy in 1985.

After three seasons of playing in the NFL, Jackson injured his hip, ending his football career. He then decided to pursue baseball and was very successful, playing for eight years and being named the MVP of the 1989 All-Star game.

Jackson, who has went through  the same process as Murray, advised the QB to focus on baseball in an interview during the MLB draft.

The only upside to playing in the NFL instead of continuing his career with the Oakland A’s is that his professional career will start as soon as he gets drafted.

Baseball is unlike any other sport, as even top prospects go through years of playing in the minor leagues before they step into the major leagues. The NFL allows Murray to play as soon as possible if he gets drafted.

Though Murray is listed as the nation’s No. 2 quarterback by a couple of ESPN draft experts, he isn’t guaranteed to start for the team he is drafted on. Almost every NFL team out there already has their go-to quarterback.

Even though Arizona Cardinal head coach Kliff Kingsbury praised Murray for being a star, it doesn’t mean that he is going to use the team’s No.1 pick to choose him. He will have many obstacles on his way to NFL stardom, while his baseball career is already secure, with a contract to Oakland.

Murray may be a once-in-a-lifetime two sport pro athlete, but it would be wrong to waste his talent in football after he has been chosen as Oakland’s prospect outfielder.

Only time will tell for the Heisman winner, who will be showcasing his skills in the NFL Scouting Combine in late February.