2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, selected by the Athletics in the 2018 draft, is believed to be leaning towards pursuing a football career. The Athletics will try to convince him to stick with baseball, as club executives will meet with Murray in Dallas on Monday, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Tomorrow marks the deadline for Murray to declare for the NFL draft.
Murray went ninth overall in last year’s draft, earning a $4.66 million signing bonus from the A’s. If Murray does decide to pursue a football career, the A’s would be in an unfortunate position as they would not get a compensation pick for losing him, unlike when a team fails to sign its pick. As a result, Murray has a lot of leverage and could use it to procure more money from the A’s.
The NFL combine is in late February and the draft is in late April. It makes a lot of sense for Murray to commit — at least publicly — to football just to see how high he goes in the draft. Some mock drafts have him going in the first round. Those with a less rosy outlook suggest his height could be a limiting factor as a quarterback.
No matter what he decides to do on Monday, the Athletics still expect Murray to report to spring training, playing in the outfield.
Update: According to WFAA’s Mike Leslie, Murray is seeking $15 million from the Athletics to stick with baseball. Whether the A’s bite remains to be seen.