After months of speculation about which sport Kyler Murray would pursue as a professional, the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback announced on Monday that he’s sticking with football.
“Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback. Football has been my love and passion my entire life. 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,” Murray wrote on Twitter.
Murray, an outfielder, was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in last year’s 2018 MLB draft and signed a contract that was going to pay him $4.66 million. After working out a deal in which he would play his final year of football at Oklahoma, Murray was supposed to then to focus on baseball. But we all know how that turned out. Murray put together one of the single greatest seasons in college football history with over 5,300 yards of total offense to go along with 54 touchdowns, while beating out Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa for the Heisman Trophy. Tagovailoa had been the front runner for almost an entire calendar year.
Last week, it was revealed that Murray will be participating in the upcoming the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, which begins in two weeks. USA Today currently ranks Murray at No. 13 on their 2019 NFL Draft Big Board — he is likely to be the second quarterback behind consensus top signal-caller Dwayne Haskins.
For a while now, there had been whispers Murray was leaning toward football, and stories began to surface that MLB and the A’s were doing everything they could, and maybe some things they technically couldn’t, to change Murray’s mind.
The San Francisco Chronicle previously reported that executives from the team and the league met with Murray to come up with “something creative” to keep him away from the gridiron. It’s also believed that MLB would have given the A’s the green light to do what was necessary to sway Murray, which is why marketing officials from the league were at meetings trying to come up with possible endorsement deals that would put more money in his pockets.
According to reports, Murray will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million the A’s gave him last year. He will have to forfeit the remaining $3.16 million that was due to him on March 1. The A’s will put him on the restricted list and retain his rights.