Heisman winner Kyler Murray declares for the 2019 NFL Draft amidst drawn-out decision between baseball and football

Murray's decision to enter his name into the NFL draft is not binding, but it does indicate that he is seriously considering a career in football.

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Murray’s decision to enter his name into the NFL draft is not binding, but it does indicate that he is seriously considering a career in football.
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Brett Deering/Getty Images

  • Kyler Murray has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft ahead of Monday’s early entry deadline.
  • The Oklahoma Sooners quarterback captivated the college football world with Heisman Trophy-caliber play that led the Sooners to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff.
  • Before he threw for 4,053 yards during the 2018 regular season and became a national sensation, the Allen, Texas, native was drafted by the Oakland A’s with the 9th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft.
  • Murray has attempted to leverage his football stock for more money to play in the MLB, but he’s still chosen to enter his name in the draft.
  • The 21-year-old will likely need to decide between the NFL and MLB by mid-February when both the A’s training camp and the NFL combine are set to begin.

Kyler Murray has chosen football – maybe.

The Oklahoma quarterback – who rose to stardom after leading the Sooners to the College Football Playoff and winning this year’s Heisman Trophy – declared for the 2019 NFL Draft ahead of Monday’s early entry deadline.

Murray is widely expected to be a first-round pick in the draft, but before he threw for 4,053 yards during the 2018 regular season and became a national sensation, the Allen, Texas, native was focused on pursuing a career in baseball.

He was drafted by the Oakland A’s with the 9th pick in the 2018 MLB Draft after hitting .296 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI during his 2018 season with Oklahoma. Murray agreed to a contract with a $4.7 million signing bonus that included a stipulation allowing him to play one more year of football with the Sooners.

He was expected to report to Oakland at the season’s end, but his stellar play on the gridiron has called those plans with the MLB into question. Murray still expressed hope that he could become the next great two-sport athlete as recently as December, but it is looking increasingly likely that he will have to decide between baseball and football.

According to WFAA’s Mike Leslie, Murray recently asked for a $15 million contract from the A’s in exchange for his commitment to the MLB, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the league was willing to “waive a rule that prevents teams from giving major league contracts to recently drafted players” if Murray were to choose baseball over football. But the money Murray could command up front in the NFL would likely far exceed that amount, and the lucrative endorsement possibilities and extravagant quality of life that accompany being an NFL quarterback may push him over the top.

Murray’s decision to enter his name into the NFL draft indeed is not binding, but it does indicate that he is very seriously considering opting for a career in football. He has an opportunity to report to Oakland’s major league spring training camp that begins on February 15, but the NFL combine starts just 11 days later. He’ll likely need to decide by then.