“Moving forward, I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback,” Murray’s statement reads. “Football has been my love and my passion my entire life. I was raised to play QB, and I very much look forward to dedicating 100% 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 NFL workouts and interviews. I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise this draft.”
Murray, who won the 2018 Heisman Trophy after throwing for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns during his only year as the Sooners’ starting quarterback, formally entered the draft in January and recently announced he’d be attending the NFL scouting combine. Still, it was unclear whether Murray would choose to accept the $4.66MM signing bonus he received from the Athletics as the No. 9 overall selection, or instead head to the NFL. MLB, for its part, was willing to allow Murray to sign a Major League contract with Oakland that would have allowed to buoy his earning power.
Murray, though, clearly seems to favor football over baseball, and given that he’s expected to selected in the first round of the NFL draft (and thus become the first athlete ever chosen in the first round of both the NFL and MLB drafts, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com), Murray should be able to top his MLB guarantees. The No. 32 pick in the NFL draft — the final slot in the first round — will receive a signing bonus of roughly $5.414MM, per Over the Cap, a value that tops Murray’s MLB bonus. Additionally, the entire value of any first-round NFL pick’s contract will be fully guaranteed.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.