As expected, Oklahoma Sooners quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray has declared for the NFL Draft.
I have declared for the NFL Draft.— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) January 14, 2019
Murray, who was the No. 9 overall selection of the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB First-Year Player Draft, can still choose to play baseball, and the A’s will certainly use the coming weeks to convince him to do so. What’s readily apparent is that Murray, who is currently projected to go in the first round of the NFL Draft, has all the leverage in this situation as far as the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball are concerned. The parties involved (and the sports world in general) will likely learn a lot more next month due to the conflicting schedules of A’s camp and the NFL Scouting Combine. Oakland’s position players report Feb. 15, and the combine begins Feb. 26.
As A's expected, Kyler Murray declares for NFL draft. From a baseball standpoint, this is procedural only and doesn't change anything unless he puts out a statement or announces he is choosing one sport over the other. A's/MLB issue would be if he left camp for the combine.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) January 14, 2019
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the A’s are willing to give Murray a deal that gives him more money than the original deal whilst also giving him a spot on the 40-man roster. Being on the 40-man, however, does not mean that Murray would go straight to the bigs.
Still: The notion of a player who has never taken an at-bat in the minor leagues winding up with a big league deal shows how special a situation Kyler Murray's is. It's not just the Oakland A's invested in him. It's Major League Baseball, too. Murray in MLB would be a coup.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 13, 2019
The A’s are allowed by rules to give Murray an MLB deal for much more than his $4.66M signing bonus if he opts for baseball but Sunday’s meeting, which also included MLB marketing chief Barbara McHugh, only regarded the A’s belief in his baseball potential. No $ were discussed.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 14, 2019
Basically, the only thing that has truly been made official today is that Murray will not return to Oklahoma, which has been the understanding since last summer. Some people (*cough* Gil Brandt *cough*) tried to tell people that it wasn’t a done deal on that front, but there really was never a question here. He really wouldn’t have anything to gain by doing anything but declaring today.
As a football player at the University of Oklahoma, Murray was a magician who in many ways outdid his predecessor — Baker Mayfield. In his only season as a full-time starting QB, he threw for 4,361 yards and rushed for another 1,001 while leading the Sooners to fourth consecutive Big 12 title and another berth in the College Football Playoff. He was huge in clutch situations and dazzled the masses with his playmaking abilities. There will be time for reflection later, but it’s safe to say we’ll never see another player quite like Kyler Murray.
Thanks for the memories!