This isn’t the news Athletics fans wanted to hear.
The Athletics believe their 2018 first-round pick Kyler Murray is going to declare for the NFL Draft on Sunday, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which cites unidentified league sources.
The A’s took Murray with the No. 9 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and gave him a $4.66 million signing bonus. If Murray were to decide to play football — which sources told the Chronicle they believe he will — he would have to give back most or all of the bonus, according to MLB.com.
But the organization isn’t entirely worried about Murray declaring. He will have until February to decide what he wants to do. His plan was to go to spring training with Oakland this season and work with the team, but the NFL scouting combine is around the same time and he would likely need attend if he wants to play football.
In fact, the Chronicle updated its initial story on Murray and the NFL Draft, reporting that an unidentified source says the A’s are considering allowing the former Oklahoma quarterback to attend the combine, a move that would require Major League Baseball’s approval.
Murray won the Heisman Trophy this season with Oklahoma and saw his draft stock soar. Some pundits have him as a possible first-round pick. The quarterback class is seen as weak, which would give Murray a good chance to go higher than he might have in other years.
Sources told the Chronicle they do not believe he can play football and baseball, though Murray has expressed a desire to possibly do both.
Murray was the first athlete in history to be selected to the Under Armour All-American game in both football and baseball. He was the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in Allen, Texas after he went 42-0 and won three state titles.
He was also seen as a potential high draft pick in baseball coming out of high school, but he wasn’t selected after he told teams not to take him because he wanted to play college football.
The 21-year-old helped the Sooners earn a berth in the College Football Playoff this season after leading them to a Big 12 title and a 12-1 regular-season record. The Sooners’ season ended with a 45-34 loss to Alabama in the national semifinals.
Murray batted .296 with 10 home runs, 47 RBIs and 10 stolen bases for Oklahoma’s baseball team in 2018.