Deans Blog: Kyler Murray Gets Drafted And Paul George's Free Agency
Kyler Murray will play only one year for Sooners
Fresh off the presses is news that seems to end any possibility that OU’s Kyler Murray could play football beyond this season with the Sooners. Even if he won a national championship, a Heisman Trophy and was the No. 1 NFL prospect. Of course, the newest Oakland A has two years eligibility remaining at Oklahoma. But multiple reports have Murray and Oakland agreeing on a contract today that will pay the No. 9 overall selection a signing bonus of around little $5 M.
Will that impact the way the QB ‘battle’ proceeds? Don’t know. All of a sudden having more money than you can spend can change one’s perspective. What we do know is that Murray is in the ultimate inviable position. He’s hit the biggest home run of his life. The Texas native will bank the $4.8M with the approval from the A’s to play one year of football where he’s the presumptive starter for another loaded Oklahoma football team.
If Murray is indeed good for only one autumn on the plains under center, OU coach Lincoln Riley will need someone ready a year from now to take the reins.
Speculation from critics is that surely if Austin Kendall, OU’s talented 4-star North Carolina recruit, loses the starting spot to Murray that he’ll surely transfer. Well, this one and out contract Murray reportedly signed might have just changed that.
Riley’s recruiting has OU looking solid on into the next few years if things play out. In addition to Kendall, whom I believe is highly underrated, Riley has true freshman Tanner Mordecai aboard. Then there’s Spencer Rattler, currently ranked the nation’s No. 1 pro-style HS QB recruit, already a firm commit, according to what Riley has told me. There are others that could become in the mix, but that threesome is a strong group to possible succeed Murray. It seems you put a strong QB with the stunningly-proven play-designer, play-caller, offensive coordinator, head coach, Lincoln Riley, and you’ve got a chance to have more than half-a-hundred on all but a few teams that play Big Boy Ball in American – including the gifted and deep Georgia Bulldogs.
One thing that was reaffirmed the past few days is that Riley’s credibility is quantum leaps ahead of J.R. Smith. Riley has always been a straight shooter. The head man didn’t just spout off about Murray definitely playing football, regardless of whether he was drafted. Riley was speaking comfortable because he was working with the vital facts.
One longtime pal and colleague, who made a career of finding angles to stories others couldn’t – or wouldn’t – hit me with the only monkey wrench I could imagine in the Oakland/Murray/OU arrangement. He’s convinced the agent who’ll likely represent Murray, is ….. well, let’s just say unscrupulous is the kindest word I’ve heard every time I’ve mentioned his name to others.
My pal suggests that he could be a thorn in Riley’s side. I was lukewarm on that suggestion but was intrigued with another thought. That the agent could sell Murray on the idea of not playing football anymore. Naturally, the agent makes more money if/when Murray begins drawing eight-figure contracts – not to mention all the outside deals that are likely – so he has a vested interest in keeping Murray healthy. My own position is that I believe Murray has unfinished business on the football field. That he has spent two seasons getting ready to take the reins. That his word means something to Riley. And that he’d never let down a team expecting him to live up to his commitment to join them this summer and fall. However, a slimy agent selling Murray to drop football and stay healthy and cash humongous checks, is not out of the realm of possibility.
The wait for PG13 Continues
The Dog Days of Summer are never dull; from college championships to Paul George & the Thunder to the Kyler Murray Sweepstakes. Unlike the old days, anything that happens in this Wild World of Sports is a click away. The never-stop news cycle and 24-7 ability to find information is where we are in June 2018.
As much as I want to remain optimistic about Paul George remaining with the Thunder, the myriad of options the Lakers have available to them this offseason - and even next year – overrides that optimism. Not to mention the simple ‘logic’ factor involved in the decision.
I will say, the source who told me a few weeks back that the information he was getting in both NBA circles and out of the PG13 camp, is not backing off his prediction that he’ll stay with the Thunder.
His off-the-record stories involving time spent with PG, is fascinating. But unfortunately, in this business, many of the best stories and best information, is on an ‘off-the-record’ agreement. Not to mention the ‘juiciest’ stories.
Listening to Stephen A. Smith espouse today that LeBron James will soon take a meeting with the soon-to- be two-time champs, makes me nauseas. Call it a KD punch-to-the-gut X 10. Not in OKC, but in Cleveland and the NBA. As does Wojo mentioning a number of scenarios where his Lakers could land LeBron and other valuable tools. KD fleeing OKC for GSW was hard enough for the loyal locals to handle. But leaving for a Houston or a Golden State would mean somebody had best hide the forks and knives.
Just as I believe legendary former Laker Jerry West sealed the deal in the Hamptons with KD joining his then-Warriors, imagine the magnetism of legendary former Laker (and owner) Magic Johnson. It’s easy to picture a smiling Magic sealing a deal with PG to LAL. Especially when some of the selling point scenarios could likely include the possibility of adding a third superstar next year, with Kawhi Leonard teaming up with PG & LBJ. A slick salesman with rings, a boatload of money and options, and the allure of LA and the Lakers is scary. The Wojo-inspired idea of adding an elite player such as Leonard makes it a hard-to-beat combination for anyone. Much less OKC.
When saying thanks is not enough
Finally, the Bill Blevins Stroke Recovery Fundraising Benefit was a smashing success. Not only do I want to especially thank Coach Switzer, Coach Stoops, Steve Owens and over a dozen of former teammates, I want to thank all the volunteers, merchants and people who joined us for a glorious last Saturday night. The John Arnold Band set a perfect tone. Our brother Bill, his wife Marsha, and the Blevins families, will forever be indebted everyone who participated. Lots and lots of wonderful people around these parts!