The Oakland A’s expect Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray to declare for the 2019 NFL draft before Monday’s deadline, the San Francisco Chronicle reports, citing multiple sources.
Murray, a two-sport star, was chosen by the A’s with the ninth pick of the MLB draft in 2018 and signed a deal in June that included a $4.66 million signing bonus and allowed him to play football for the Sooners for one final season before joining the A’s.
Murray, 21, complicated things by leading Oklahoma to a 12-2 record and a spot in the College Football Playoff, winning the Heisman Trophy along the way.
ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay have noted that Murray could be a first-round pick, and ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Wednesday that Murray was getting “first-round feedback” regarding the NFL. Last month, an NFL general manager told ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “I really believe he’s a first-round pick, a late first, I really do.”
Declaring for the NFL draft would not guarantee that Murray would choose football, and the A’s would retain his professional rights, even if he tried the NFL first.
If Murray chooses the NFL over baseball, he would have to return his signing bonus, though the A’s would not get a compensation pick in the June draft.
The A’s were told recently that Murray would not be going back to Oklahoma, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The A’s still expect him to report to spring training in mid-February, and the plan is to keep him in major league camp until mid-March, when they leave for Japan to start their season, sources said.
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