All That and a Bag of Mail

It’s Friday, rejoice.

Let’s jump right into the mailbag and get rolling.

Jayce writes:

“Hey Clay,
What would you project Kyler Murray to be in terms of draft rankings, and what teams could you see being interested him? Is he worth the gamble in your opinion?”

The most recent offshore line I saw — which was released this morning — had him at -700 to be a first round pick and projected the over/under on his draft position to be 19.5.

If he is drafted in the first round he stands to make between 2 and 7 times as much guaranteed money playing football as he does playing baseball.

I laid out why he should pick football if his goal is to maximize his earnings potential on Outkick the Show yesterday.

I think it’s a no brainer.

As for whether or not he’d be good in the NFL. Best case scenario, he’s a much shorter Russell Wilson. Worst case scenario, he’s Johnny Manziel without the off field issues, a guy whose success in college just didn’t translate to the NFL partly due to his size.

Michael writes:
“I listen everyday because I leave at 5:45am so your show saves me. Here’s my question:
Death threats over Twitter. How can someone get away with this? From your perspective as a lawyer, why are people allowed to send death threats to other users without any fear of repercussion or prosecution? Cody Parkey received hundreds of death threats from loser Bears fans and none of them were held accountable. How can Cody be sure that every single one of them is simply hyperbole? Are we going to wait around until some lunatic actually tracks an individual down and kills them? This whole thing seems utterly unbelievable to me. Since you’re a lawyer, I’d like your perspective.”
I think every person who sends a death threat on Twitter should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The fact that we have allowed death threats to become prevalent on social media is, I think, one of many major failures with social media in this country in general. (The biggest failure is the media’s coverage of Twitter as if it’s representative of the real world. It isn’t, it’s a fun house mirror.)
People have come to believe they can create anonymous accounts and say anything they want on social media with no consequences. I just think that’s flat out wrong. I’m a firm believer in expansive first amendment protections, but no one has the first amendment right to threaten death to another person.
I think DA’s should prosecute these cases to send messages about what behavior is acceptable and what behavior is not acceptable.

Jackson writes:

“I completely agree with you it’s ridiculous Trevor Lawrence has to be at Clemson for two more years. He’s already a top draft pick and it seems the upside of him playing two more years in college is minimal. Sure he’s going to have two more years of live reps, but with every snap he also risks his future NFL career and livelihood. Having said that do you think we’ll reach a point where players of his caliber choose to not only sit out a bowl game, but maybe their entire junior year and just train? This is obviously assuming the NFL doesn’t change their three year rule for draft eligibility.”

This is the debate we all had surrounding Clowney at South Carolina several years ago. So far no high draft pick has actually sat out his junior year and I think it’s unlikely anyone will do so because the first player to do so would get attacked as not loving football and it could end up hurting his draft stock. (I think the story line that it would hurt his draft stock would be more prevalent than the reality, by the way. If you’re good enough I tend to think an NFL team would draft you no matter what. Especially if you’re a quarterback).

As I’ve said for many years I disagree with the NFL’s age restrictions when it comes to draft eligibility and believe they should be unenforceable. In my opinion once you reach the age of 18 you should be able to go pro in football and basketball just like you can in hockey or baseball.

Having said that, I think the NFL’s age restriction opens up a huge opportunity for the new football leagues launching, particularly the XFL. Why wouldn’t these leagues eliminate all age restrictions and try and sign top college players before they are eligible to play in the NFL?

Trevor Lawrence may not be willing to leave Clemson to play in the XFL, but shouldn’t you at least offer him a multi-million contract to do so? If I were running the XFL I’d be all over this opportunity. You could sign the top players from college two years before they could leave for the NFL. That seems like it would create a ton more interest in your league.

I just think it’s a no brainer for the XFL or the AAFL.

If you could play football for free in college or make a few million dollars as a sophomore and junior playing for a good team why not? That’s especially the case because these leagues are playing once the college and NFL seasons end. In other words, you could go straight from playing in the national title game, in theory, and suit up with another team a month later for millions of dollars.

I think the interest level would be very high to see how these quarterbacks do in a pro league and I think it’s the single best way to draw substantial amounts of attention to your league.

Scooter writes:

“NCAA athletes can’t get paid or have agents. However, Kyler Murray was selected in the MLB draft, has an agent, Scott Boras, and took a $4.66M signing bonus in summer 2018…and THEN he went and played a little college football and won the Heisman. First, it would seem that he is the richest Heisman winner ever (personally, not family money). Second, why is this ok, but it is otherwise not ok to give anything to NCAA athletes? For example, the football bowls have to go through huge hoops just to give each player the bowl gifts.”

It’s because most NCAA rules are total bullshit and they create exceptions as they see fit. The best example of this was when the NCAA got sued for a ton of money — and lost the case — for appropriating player likenesses in the EA Sports college football game. The result was the NCAA had to pay players for using their image in a commercial product, which makes the NCAA the largest violator of its own improper benefits rule in college sports history. (This lawsuit also killed the EA Sports college football game which proves lawyers ruin everything they touch.) In theory, every player should have been forced to miss games as a result of the NCAA making them ineligible for accepting improper benefits once they were paid for their likenesses.

But do you know what the NCAA ended up ruling there?

That it wasn’t a violation of its own amateurism rules.

Which is just hysterical in its hypocrisy.

In regards to your Kyler Murray point, the NCAA has created an exception to their rules where you are allowed to be a pro in one sport, but not a pro in another sport. In other words, Kyler Murray wouldn’t be eligible to play college baseball because he’s already accepted money to play baseball as a professional, but he would be eligible to play college football because he hasn’t accepted money to play there yet.

You can go pro in a sport, just not the sport you play in college.

Eric writes:


Long time Reader- First Time Emailer
As the NFL season comes to an end, the buzz at the beginning of the year was about Nike & Kaepernick’s ad. Personally, I haven’t seen the ads at all on television this season. With NFL ratings up in 2018, do you think the NFL has stepped in behind close doors with Nike to stop the ads? Totally a conspiracy theory, but I wanted your thoughts.
Love the book- 100 pages in!”
I think Nike recognized that Kaepernick was a disaster for their brand and essentially ended his ad campaign during the early part of football season.
Seriously, after the big roll out week one of the NFL season have any of you seen him anywhere?
The Kaepernick ad campaign launched with a ton of fan fare and there was all this talk about how heroic he was and how much they were going to use him to see Nikes and then…nothing.
He just vanished.
I don’t regularly shop in athletic stores, but I haven’t seen any shoes or product being advertised either. Maybe Nike will bring him back at some point in time, but I think the company realized they goofed by using him like they did. He alienated far more people than he brought to the brand.
It’s certainly possible Nike and the NFL had a conversation about this, but I think it’s more likely Nike just realized what the NFL already had realized — that Kaepernick was toxic for their business.
Mike writes:
“Wanted to get your take on the border wall standoff as well as politics in general over the next 2 years. When the Democrats took back the house I felt that in the big picture it wouldn’t actually hurt Trump for 2 reasons. The 1st being that it would allow him to shift blame to the Democrats for any shortcomings in the country, and the 2nd that given a position of power the Democrats’ blinding hatred for him would devolve into a circus sideshow act of accusations, investigations and other various stunts.
Trump’s certainly attempting the former with the border wall funding, although I’m not sure how successfully. As for the latter though it seems to be in full swing already. “The night that launched a thousand memes” as James Carville put it in reference to Schumer and Pelosi’s single podium mishap sure made it seem like they simply can’t think beyond their rage for Trump.
So, how do you see politics playing out over the next 2 years leading into the 2020 election?”
This will all come down to how the Democrats pick their nominee for 2020.
If they try to beat Trump picking the anti-Trump, like Kamala Harris, I think they face a strong chance of losing. Because nominating a black woman will mean the entire 2020 campaign will be fought over identity politics. Nothing else will matter.
If, however, the Democrats pick a candidate like Beto, who will run a relentlessly positive campaign which seeks to make Trump a non-factor — the most devastating thing a Democrat could say to Trump in the 2020 campaign is “I think Donald Trump did an okay job, I just think I could do better,” because it completely kills his base’s anger — or picks a candidate like Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg who is another old white guy, then I think the Democrats have a much better chance of actually beating Trump.
But since we are enmeshed in an identity politics era, I expect for Kamala Harris to be the nominee and for the entire 2020 campaign to be WHITE MAN AGAINST BLACK WOMAN, rinse and repeat.
Nothing else will matter.
Steven writes:
“I am sure you’ll get asked this a lot but why is there not more backlash over people like Shaun King reporting the girl that was shot in Harris County. They all said it was a white guy who shot and killed her and it ended up being a black teenager. They didn’t change or delete their tweets or stories.”
Because the mainstream media wants white men to be blamed for everything bad in the country and when white men aren’t to blame, the stories vanish.
It’s awful that seven year old girl was killed in Houston, but if there hadn’t been a white man alleged to commit the crime, it would have just been another instance of black on black crime and most would have never noticed or heard about the killing. Amazingly, society is so used to black on black crime that even when the victims are young innocent children, the media mostly ignores it.
It’s because these kinds of deaths are so common you need the racism angle to garner any attention on social media or make people notice on TV. White people killing black people is, paradoxically, so rare that it turns into a news story since things that happen all the time, by the very nature, aren’t considered news. One of the flaws of news is that novelty sells. The same thing happening again and again eventually causes the public to lose interest.
It’s why deaths in car accidents rarely make news too. You need there to be a hook — family traveling home from Disney World all dies or famous person dies or, honestly, an illegal immigrant gets drunk and kills someone in a car accident. The traffic accident death needs to be unique.
I’d equate it to the same way if someone gets attacked by an alligator or shark, it’s front page news, but if the same person drowns in a lake or the ocean, it probably doesn’t make news at all. We’re all much more likely to drown than we are to be killed by an animal in the water, but the alligator and shark attacks confirm our worst fears.
As for why Shaun King escapes media censure or legal liability, it’s because no one has sued him yet. He should have been sued multiple times by innocent people he’s publicly branded as criminals. Hell, the media ought to be covering him as a modern day Rachel Dolezal, but he’s been protected by the “mainstream” media so far because of his extremely woke politics.
It’s shameful, but predictable evidence of clear media bias.
Andy writes:
“I would imagine it’s quite obvious at this point a) almost everyone did not expect the shutdown to last this long, and b) all realize it’s not ending until Trump gets funding for a wall, especially considering the Democrats don’t seem to be even close to giving him anything. How long does do you think it lasts? Finally if he came to you, what advice would you have for him that could help the shutdown end sooner rather than later while also being able to get some funding for a partial wall?-which by the way is what he’s wanted all along.”
I haven’t been following the shut down that aggressively because it’s clear political theater with both sides playing to their base.The easy solution here for both sides is for Trump to declare a national emergency to build the wall. Then he gets immediately sued and we spend the next two years of his term having a court argument over whether the president has the power to declare a national emergency over an issue such as this.
This way the Democrats and Republicans both get to maintain their moral high ground for their bases and neither side buckles.
This also sets the table for the 2020 election to be another referendum on the wall, which is, honestly, pure political theater. The wall has always been much more valuable as political metaphor than it has been as political reality.
Hope y’all have fantastic weekends.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.