Oakland Athletics first-round draft pick and 2018 Heisman Trophy Winner Kyler Murray will reportedly declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.
Slusser points out that declaring for the draft doesn’t necessarily mean Murray will reject his deal with the A’s. He is slated to make $4.66 million with the A’s. The date to watch is Feb. 15, which is when position players report to Mesa, Arizona for big league camp. The NFL combine starts Feb. 26. According to Slusser, Murray will have to make a decision on whether to play professional baseball or football by that point.
Murray has long maintained he would play in the MLB after the A’s drafted him No. 9 overall. But Murray produced an exceptional junior season on the football field, throwing for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and seven interceptions, culminating in winning the Heisman Trophy award.
If Murray decides to pursue football, according to Slusser, he would have to return his signing bonus to the A’s. The team would not receive a compensation pick in return. The A’s would, however, possess Murray’s rights to play in the MLB if his professional football prospects don’t work out.
This, obviously, is huge news for an Athletics team looking to add a cornerstone piece after reeling off 97 wins in 2018.
Murray is projected as a first-round NFL draft pick.