Skip to main content

Football Heisman winner Kyler Murray chooses football over baseball

Former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has declared his intention to focus on his NFL career instead of playing baseball for the Oakland Athletics, who drafted him last year.

Sue Ogrocki/The Associated Press

Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray says he will pursue a career in the NFL over playing baseball for the Oakland Athletics.

Murray was the ninth overall pick in last June’s baseball amateur draft, and the outfielder agreed to a minor league contract with Oakland for a US$4.66 million signing bonus. He is a football quarterback and eligible for this year’s NFL draft which starts April 25.

Oakland, which started spring training workouts on Monday, had a locker with a No. 73 jersey waiting for him.

Story continues below advertisement

“I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray tweeted on Monday. “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 per cent of myself to being the best QB possible and winning NFL championships. I have started an extensive training program to further prepare myself for upcoming workouts and interviews. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft.”

“Things have certainly changed since the draft,” Billy Beane, Oakland’s executive vice-president of baseball operations, said before the announcement. “The situation is fluid right now and based on a historic college football season that the young man had.”

Murray’s baseball deal called for him to receive US$1.5 million within 30 days of the deal’s approval last summer by Major League Baseball and US$3.16 million on March 1.

Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders played both football and baseball, but Sanders was a running back and Sanders a cornerback.

“Quarterback is a very demanding position, as is being a Major League baseball player,” Beane said. “To say somebody could or couldn’t, I’m not here to say that. Something like that is something that is part of our private discussions.”

“He’s one of those rare athletes, who I think any sport that he played, he’d probably excel at,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

Murray passed for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns for Oklahoma last season. He ran for 1,001 yards and another 12 scores, posting the second-best passer efficiency rating in FBS history.

Story continues below advertisement

“Obviously the fact that he would want to play quarterback, if he chooses the football route, is a little different than Deion or Bo or some of those guys,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said in November. “But he athletically is so gifted and can transition between the two.”

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter