Despite the best efforts of the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball, Kyler Murray is following his football dream.
The University of Oklahoma quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner declared for the NFL draft on Monday, hours before the final deadline to do so. Murray, who was drafted by Oakland in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft, was weighing the decision about whether to play football or baseball.
Murray announced his intentions via Twitter on Monday afternoon.
Just because Murray is declaring for the draft, however, doesn’t mean he’s totally ruling out baseball. After going through more of the NFL draft process, Murray could have a change of heart and report to A’s spring training in February. Of course, the baseball fallback plan also gives the two-sport standout some leverage when it comes to dealing with NFL teams. Theoretically, Murray could use baseball as a way to ward off any NFL teams he’d like to avoid.
Despite new Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s apparent infatuation with Murray, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said he spoke to scouts who believe Murray will likely go in the second or third round.
Murray and the A’s reportedly agreed to a $5 million contract after taking him with the ninth pick in last June’s draft. The two sides were negotiating up until the deadline, and according to reports, MLB was willing to allow Oakland to give Murray a major league contract in its attempts to convince him to choose baseball.
Now, all they can do is wait and hope Murray ultimately chooses baseball.