The Oakland A’s are opening training camp this week and the team’s biggest question heading in was if their top draft pick, Kyler Murray, was going to report.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account, the former Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner announced he was “firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback.”
“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.”
— Kyler Murray (@TheKylerMurray) February 11, 2019
Murray was the No. 9 pick by the A’s in the 2018 MLB draft and agreed to a minor league contract that included a $4.66 million signing bonus. Thanks to his decision, he will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million bonus and forfeit the remaining $3.16 million.
The A’s will retain Murray’s rights, so they don’t get a compensatory draft pick in next year’s draft.
Now that Murray won’t be joining Oakland — he was due to report to spring training on Friday — his focus will shift to the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis which begins February 26.
If Murray is drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, he will be the first player to be a 1st-round pick in both pro football and baseball. At this point, despite concerns about his size, it seems Murray is almost guaranteed to be a first-round pick.