Kyler Murray finally has made up his mind.
The 2018 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will pursue an NFL career and abandon his hopes of playing Major League Baseball. Murray announced his decision Monday via Twitter, ending months of speculation over which sport he might play professionally. He had expected to play baseball, but his outstanding season with the Oklahoma Sooners dramatically changed his thinking and his career prospects.
“Football has been my love and passion my entire life,” Murray wrote. “I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100% of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships. I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming NFL workouts and interviews. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”
The Oakland Athletics selected Murray with the No. 9 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and signed him to a $4.33 million contract. Instead of reporting to spring training next week, he’ll walk away from most of the value of the contract and return a large chunk of his signing bonus, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders played both baseball and football simultaneously during the 1990s. Murray might have tried to emulate them if he played a position other than quarterback.
Murray already has declared for the NFL Draft, and his name appears on the list of players invited to attend the annual draft combine later this month. He’ll make history if an NFL team selects him in the first round, as many predict will happen.
Murray might have earned more money over the course of his baseball career than he will in the NFL but he appears to be following his heart with this decision.
Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images