Potential Giants draft target and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray has until Monday to declare for the NFL draft. And the Oakland A’s could put a stop to that.
The A’s, who drafted Murray ninth overall last year and signed him to a $4.66 million signing bonus, are trying to convince Murray to pursue baseball over football with Monday’s deadline approaching, and could offer him a contract that would put him on their MLB roster, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Murray, according to Mike Leslie of WFAA (Dallas), is seeking an MLB contract worth approximately $15 million. Oakland, according to Passan, is sending representatives, including team president Billy Beane and GM David Forst, to meet with Murray, an outfielder who hit .296/.398/.556 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs with the Oklahoma Sooners in 2018.
Despite Murray’s success on the baseball diamond, he has also found it on the gridiron. In 14 games, he threw for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions, and also ran for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns, leading Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff national semifinals.
At 5-foot-10, he would be among the shortest quarterbacks in the NFL, an aspect NFL executives take into consideration when evaluating quarterbacks, however many draft evaluators reportedly believe Murray has first-round talent. Even Kliff Kingsbury, now the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, said when he was coaching Texas Tech that he would draft Murray with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
Murray has previously said he wouldn’t be a dual-sport athlete, a la Bo Jackson, indicating he would have to choose between the two.
Currently, the MLB has a rule that prevents major-league contracts for drafted players, according to Passan, however his $4.66 million signing bonus is a minor-league deal. Should the A’s up their offer, that would, in essence, put Murray on Oakland’s major-league roster, even though he has yet to have a plate appearance in the minors.
While Monday is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft, the A’s open spring training on Feb. 15.