Oklahoma Sooners star quarterback Kyler Murray declared for the NFL Draft just inside the deadline, he announced on Twitter on Monday.
I have declared for the NFL Draft.— Kyler Murray (@K1) January 14, 2019
The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner was selected in the first round of the MLB Draft by the Oakland A's in June, and the No. 9 overall pick has a $4.66 million deal that allowed him to play football with the Sooners for his junior season.
He was previously expected to report to spring training with the A's in mid-February, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that Oakland was expecting him to enter the NFL Draft.
However, declaring for the NFL Draft does not immediately impact his deal with the A's. He could still report to spring training -- position players start Feb. 15 in Mesa, Arizona -- but that could conflict with the NFL scouting combine, which begins Feb. 26 in Indianapolis.
As an outfielder, Murray is in such high demand by Major League Baseball that the league will allow Murray to join Oakland's 40-man roster and build upon his nearly-$5 million deal instead of first playing in the minors, ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Sunday. The A's being able to offer Murray a major league contract could hand him a dollar amount similar to what he'd receive as a top NFL Draft pick.
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
According to USA TODAY Sports' Bob Nightengale, the A's, including team president Billy Beane, met with Murray and made their case for him to choose professional baseball as recently as Sunday.
Murray followed Baker Mayfield as Oklahoma's quarterback this season, and despite the Sooners listing him at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, he could still be a first-round NFL Draft pick too.
While leading the Sooners to a Big 12 championship and the College Football Playoff -- Oklahoma ultimately lost to Alabama -- Murray maintained a 69.0 completion percentage. He threw for 4,361 yards, which was third nationally, ran for 1,001 yards and accumulated a combined 54 touchdowns.
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