The answer to "will he or won't he?" He will.
Less than a year after the A's picked him in the top 10 of the MLB draft, two-sport star Kyler Murray announced ahead of Monday's deadline that he will enter the 2019 NFL Draft.
I have declared for the NFL Draft.— Kyler Murray (@K1) January 14, 2019
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Murray submitted his paperwork to declare for the draft back on Friday, and that he has already notified the A's of his decision.
Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray has submitted the paperwork to turn pro and plans to enter the NFL draft. Murray has informed the Oakland A’s of his intention to follow his heart to the NFL, where many project him to be a first-round pick.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2019
Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray actually submitted the paperwork to enter the NFL draft on Friday, per source. He always can change his mind, but his mind has been made up.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2019
Oakland drafted the 21-year-old ninth overall in the 2018 MLB Draft last June, and signed off on him returning to the University of Oklahoma to play football in the fall. Murray, who backed up Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield during the 2017 season, was named the Sooners' starting quarterback in September.
Murray quickly established himself as one of the best players in college football. He threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns, and ran for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 54 total touchdowns were tied for the ninth-most by a player in a single season in college football history, and Murray won the Heisman Trophy after his historic campaign.
Agent Scott Boras insisted last month that Murray would report to spring training, but rumors persisted that Murray would opt to play football. Recent mock drafts projected Murray could be selected in the first round by an NFL team, but the A's were reportedly willing to put Murray on their 40-man roster in order to convince him to play baseball. Marketing executives from MLB were reportedly involved in the meetings, too, in order to show Murray what off-field opportunities would arise if he chose the diamond over the gridiron.
Should Murray ultimately play in the NFL, he will have to pay back the A's the $4.66 million signing bonus he received in June. If he is a first-round pick in April, Murray would receive more guaranteed money from the NFL than he did with the A's, based on signing bonuses 2018's NFL first-rounders received.