Photo: Jeff Chiu / Associated Press 2018
Image 1 10
Kyler Murray, A’s outfielder in summer and NFL quarterback in the fall?
Not a chance.
A source with knowledge of the situation told The Chronicle on Wednesday that the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner will have to pick one sport because the demands of learning and playing quarterback in the NFL would preclude him from playing professional baseball.
The sports world will get a better idea of Murray’s intentions by Sunday, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2019 NFL draft.
Should Murray stick with his original intent to play baseball, a source told The Chronicle, he has been invited to the A’s big-league camp this spring. Position players are expected to report Feb. 15, earlier than usual because of the team’s season-opening trip to Japan.
Murray starred in both football and baseball at Oklahoma. In June, the A’s used the ninth overall pick in the amateur draft to select Murray. Oakland then paid him a $4.66 million bonus.
The deal allowed the outfielder/quarterback to return to Oklahoma and play football for his junior season, which he did spectacularly. When he signed, the A’s and agent Scott Boras indicated that the agreement did not allow for him to return for his senior season. There has been some speculation recently that he would go back.
If Murray chooses the NFL and does not play baseball, he would have to return the signing bonus, but the A’s will not receive a compensation pick in this June’s draft.
What happened in the interim? Murray won the Heisman Trophy.
“When you win the Heisman Trophy, you’re going to have a lot of information come to you to be looked at,” Boras said at the winter meetings in Las Vegas. “All I know is Kyler has a tremendous opportunity to be a great baseball player and he knows that. … He has every intention to be in spring training and advance that interest.”
Murray theoretically could declare for the NFL draft, which occurs in April, and report to spring training, but that would prevent him from participating in the NFL scouting combine, which runs from Feb. 26 through March 4, or any private workouts that teams like to schedule.
Murray’s draft outlook could weaken if teams have no chance to run him through their drills.
There have been two-way players in the NFL and Major League Baseball. Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are two such examples. But Sanders was a defensive back and Jackson a running back.
The Chronicle source said NFL teams would not want Murray to play baseball because of the steeper learning curve for a rookie quarterback and the everyday demands of the position.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/A-s-draftee-Kyler-Murray-will-not-play-both-13521091.php.