Kyler Murray on Bryce Harper's $330M Contract: Some NFL QBs Earn More Per Year

Megan ArmstrongContributor IMarch 1, 2019

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)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Outfielder Bryce Harper's 13-year, $330 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies has set the benchmark for athletes' money-making aspirations in U.S. sports, and it could hit close to home for Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray.          

Murray faced a public fork in the road when he had to choose between sticking to his original plan of playing in MLB for the Oakland A's—who drafted him No. 9 overall last summer—or trying his hand in the NFL

He chose football, and while at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner commented on Harper's record-breaking deal when asked if it "got his attention," per Albert Breer of The MMQB: "Everyone makes a big deal of him making $300 million. There's quarterbacks making more per year than him."

Harper's $330 million pact with Philadelphia is fully guaranteed. It is the richest contract ever given in baseball, per Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, and the largest in any American sport.

For context, per Spotrac, five NFL quarterbacks have contracts with an average annual value of more than $25 million. At the top is Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who averages $33.5 million. According to ESPN's Jeff Passan, Harper's average annual value is $25.4 million.

As MMQB columnist Andrew Brandt pointed out, "There is no quarterback (or any other player) alive who has made $300 million from the NFL." 

Andrew Brandt @AndrewBrandt

Bryce Harper just got $330 million. Guaranteed. Largest NFL guarantee ever - Kirk Cousins, $84 million. In the business of sports, NFL players sit at the children's table.

The most guaranteed money in the NFL belongs to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who is owed $100 million guaranteed as part of a five-year, $150 million contract signed in 2018. 

After declaring for the draft and clarifying his intention to only play in the NFL, Murray will likely have to forfeit "a very large portion" of his nearly $5 million signing bonus with the A's, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. Murray's contract reportedly included a provision protecting the MLB team in the event he chose to play in the NFL.

ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Kr. told Nick Schwartz of USA Today that he planned to place Murray at No. 1 overall in his next mock draft. The Arizona Cardinals own the first overall pick when the draft begins April 25 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Murray confirmed that the Cardinals were one of the teams he would meet with at the combine. The 21-year-old prospect will not be working out in Indianapolis, however, instead waiting for his pro day at Oklahoma on March 13.