Kyler Murray commits to pursuing National Football League career and turns back on baseball

Elena Summers
February 12, 2019

Heisman Trophy victor Kyler Murray says he will pursue a career in the National Football League over playing baseball for the Oakland Athletics.

Murray announced his decision to exclusively concentrate on the gridiron Monday on Twitter.

"Football has been my love and passion my entire life", Murray said in Monday's statement. Despite many draft analysts insisting that this year's quarterback class isn't particularly strong, most still expect at least three of four quarterbacks to go in the first round, perhaps even in the top 10.

Murray was selected with the ninth overall pick of last year's MLB Draft by the Oakland Athletics, who agreed to let Murray play the 2018 football season with the Sooners.

Oklahoma's Heisman Trophy victor, Murray was the ninth overall selection by the A's in the 2018 Major League Baseball draft last June and received a $4.66 million signing bonus.

Second, it appears Murray didn't let the A's know of his decision before his made his announcement on social media. Thanks to his decision, he will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million bonus and forfeit the remaining $3.16 million. But there is little question Murray has a chance to create a little havoc on draft's Thursday night, and where he might land will be one of the draft's central storylines over the next few months. That was before he led the Sooners to the Big 12 Conference title behind his blazing speed and pinpoint throws. As Rosenthal notes, the club still can beat any offer that a football team makes, at least in theory, by dangling a guaranteed Major League Baseball contract on top of the Major League Baseball draft bonus money that Murray presently stands to sacrifice.

The NFL draft begins on April 25.

"Things have certainly changed since the draft", Billy Beane, Oakland's executive vice president of baseball operations, said Monday, via the Associated Press. The dearth of high-level quarterback candidates in this draft doesn't hurt Murray for sure, and now, we'll have to see how this could impact the Cardinals - picking no. 1 overall - if at all.

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