Kyler Murray is keeping his options open for the 2019 NFL draft.
The Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, who was also the No. 9 overall pick last year by baseball’s Oakland Athletics, announced Monday afternoon on Twitter he would be an early entrant into this year’s NFL draft.
Monday represented the deadline for underclassmen to make themselves eligible to be taken in April.
The decision, however, does not necessarily indicate that Murray will pursue football rather than baseball. The A’s met with him on Sunday, USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale reported, citing two persons familiar with the meeting. The people spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
Murray’s next decision point could be in February. The A’s open spring training on Feb. 15 in Mesa, Ariz., but the NFL scouting combine will be held from Feb. 26 – March 4 in Indianapolis.
Murray’s contract with the A’s gave him a $4.66 million signing bonus and afforded him the opportunity to play another year at Oklahoma, during which he led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff semifinals. He threw for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns, adding 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground.
Should Murray choose football, he’d be required to return the signing bonus to the A’s. If he’s selected in the first round of the NFL draft, he’d be guaranteed more money in his rookie contract than the $4.66 million he received from Oakland, which is just below the slot value for MLB’s No. 9 pick.
However, the A’s have been granted the ability to offer Murray a major league contract, according to ESPN, which would open new possibilities for a greater payout.