Troy Aikman Reflects on Missed $200K Mets Deal That Led to NFL Stardom

Exploring Troy Aikman's Untaken Path in Professional Baseball

by Nouman Rasool
Troy Aikman Reflects on Missed $200K Mets Deal That Led to NFL Stardom
© Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Troy Aikman, the NFL Hall of Famer, famously known for his illustrious career as a quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys, once stood at a crossroads between football and baseball. As a highly sought-after high school athlete, Aikman almost embarked on a journey into the world of baseball, specifically with the New York Mets.

However, a pivotal moment involving a financial negotiation would ultimately steer him towards a legendary path in football.

Aikman's Baseball Crossroads

On the eve of his commitment to Oklahoma University, the Mets reached out to gauge what it would take to secure Aikman's signature.

Recounting the story to Tulsa World, Aikman shared a glimpse into that life-altering conversation. At just 17, without an agent and guided by his father's philosophy of treating him as an adult from a young age, Aikman boldly stated his price: $200,000.

This figure, unimaginable to him at the time, was met with disbelief by the Mets' representative, who compared it to the earnings of star player Daryl Strawberry, highlighting the gap between Aikman's asking price and the reality of baseball salaries then.

This pivotal moment decisively ended Aikman's potential career in baseball, redirecting his path towards football. Embracing this new direction, Aikman excelled at Oklahoma University, laying the groundwork for his future success.

His journey led him to the Dallas Cowboys, where his outstanding performances solidified his reputation in the sport. Aikman's illustrious football career, marked by exceptional achievements and leadership on the field, ultimately earned him a well-deserved place in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Aikman's story underscores the fluidity between baseball and football, as many athletes, including names like Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Kyler Murray, and Aikman himself, have been drafted in both MLB and NFL. The transition from one sport to another is not uncommon, yet the path to MLB stardom is fraught with longer, more challenging timelines compared to the immediate opportunities in the NFL.

Aikman's decision, influenced by the Mets' reluctance to meet his terms, not only altered his career trajectory but also left an indelible mark on the NFL history books.