sports 5 days ago

NFL Draft 2019: Kyler Murray commits to focusing on football

Sporting News — (Bob Hille)

The wait is over. Kyler Murray is committing himself to football, the Heisman Trophy winner said Monday via social media.

“Moving forward, I am firmly committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray tweeted, in part. “Football has been my love and passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100 percent of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships.”

Murray, who was the Athletics' first-round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, was due to report to spring training this week, but the A's were losing confidence that that actually would happen.

Oakland general manager David Forst on Sunday confirmed that the team still didn't know if or when the former Oklahoma double threat would report to camp, according to ESPN, and, after the announcement, Forst said the team had not been informed ahead of it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

That's not a good sign.

Although he kept his decision under wraps until the week he was due to report in Arizona, Murray said his work toward making an impression ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft already has begun.

“I have started an extensive program to further prepare myself for the upcoming NFL workouts and interviews," Murray said. "I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision-makes that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”

Murray will be one of the top quarterback prospects of the 2019 draft and will get a chance to exhibit his skills at the NFL combine Feb. 26-March 4 in Indianapolis and subsequent workouts for NFL talent evaluators ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25-27 in Nashville.

In his lone season as the full-time starter at Oklahoma, Murray was electrifying. He completed 260 of 377 passes for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns with only seven interceptions and rushed 140 times for another 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.

For now, it appears his dream of playing in the majors is on hold, if not over.

The A's selected Murray with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and gave him a $4.66 million signing bonus. According to ESPN, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner will return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million signing bonus money the A’s gave him in 2018. (He forfeits the remaining $3.16 million due March 1.) 

The A’s will place him on the restricted list and retain his rights, but they won’t get a compensation draft pick, ESPN added. Still Forst said, "We’ll focus on what we need to do to make sure that if he comes back to baseball at some point, he comes back with the A’s."

Oakland's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to hold their first workout of spring training Monday, with position players slated to report Friday.