• Kyler Murray was drafted by Oakland Athletics in 2018
  • Murray decided to pursue an NFL career instead
  • The Cardinals included a $23 million signing bonus in his contract

Kyler Murray’s salary this season is $675,000, but his signing bonus makes it a lot more lucrative.

Murray signed a 4-year, $35 million deal in 2019 to play for the Arizona Cardinals, the team that made him the top draft pick at last year’s NFL Draft. That means he will most likely make at least $8 million per year, but what makes it more lucrative is the bonuses attached to it.

Spotrac has learned that the contract includes a $23.5 million signing bonus spread over four years, on top of a $35 million guaranteed salary. This reflects the faith the Cardinals have for their top draft pick. Guaranteed contracts are somewhat a gamble since a dip in production due to injuries could result in sub-par return of investment for the franchise. But make no mistake about it, the quarterback has proven he is a winner even before going pro.

Kyler Murray
Kyler Murray received the Davey O'Brien Award on Monday. In this picture, Murray attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl LIII Radio Row in Atlanta, Jan. 31, 2019. Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Murray was the former Gatorade Football Player of the Year and the USA Today Offensive Player of the Year in 2014, a report from Celebrity Net Worth revealed. He also added the Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien Award in his trophy case in 2018. The University of Oklahoma graduate also bagged the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, among others.

What makes his skillset unique is that he almost played professional baseball after getting drafted 9th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft. His switch to play professional football instead is a good business move and it is evident by the gap in the contracts offered to him. The Oakland Athletics tried to sign him with a $5 million signing bonus. When compared to the Cardinals’ offer of a $23 million signing bonus, any athlete would have preferred the latter.

NBC Sports reported that the Athletics’ contract includes $14 million guaranteed, which is still lower than the offer from the NFL. As a baseball player, Murray played as a left fielder. Some experts agree that his ceiling in MLB could go as high as an occasional All-Star. He did record 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 51 games for Oklahoma in his college days. On the other hand, should he decide to return to MLB in the future, the Athletics own the rights to him.

Oakland is set to receive a draft compensation for failing to sign their high draft pick. This move makes sense because they did select someone who they believed could help the team, the drafted player only thought otherwise for the meantime, per a separate CBS Sports report.

With $13 million net worth, the future will only get brighter for the multi-skilled young quarterback. If he keeps himself healthy, he could even go back to baseball where he would be only among a few athletes who could say they played for MLB and NFL in their career.