By Nick Shook 3 minutes
The wait is over. Kyler Murray has chosen his soulmate: football.
The dual-sport star announced Monday via Twitter he is committing to pursuing a career as an NFL quarterback.
Murray was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft, but was allowed to play his final season of football at Oklahoma. He won the Heisman Trophy as a Sooner in 2018, prompting him to reevaluate his future, which has now led him from the diamond to the gridiron.
This decision didn't come overnight, and caps what has been a fairly lengthy process. The questions surrounding Murray's future started surfacing near the end of the college season, and the quarterback -- yes, we can now call him a quarterback -- was indecisive publicly before Monday, saying only during the lead-up to Super Bowl LIII that the decision would come "soon."
Murray has decided to walk away from his $4.33 million contract with the Athletics, which called for him to report to big-league camp at the end of February. He'll have to return $1.29 million of the $1.5 million he received in a signing bonus from the Athletics last year, and forfeits the remaining $3.16 million of his contract, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
Murray's draft projection varies, depending on who's making such a projection. NFL.com's Gil Brandt lists the Washington Redskins, New York Giants and New Orleans Saints as the top three fits for the 5-foot-10, 195-pound quarterback.
Part of the debate over baseball or football includes his potential career earnings. Traditionally, baseball would pay more, thanks to a lack of salary cap and careers that usually last longer. But with the sharp rise of quarterback salaries and the rules implemented to protect the players on the field, that gap has narrowed to a point where it could disappear entirely.
Consider: If Murray was selected first overall, he'd land a much larger contract than the one he signed with the Athletics (last year's top pick, Baker Mayfield, signed a $32.6 million, fully guaranteed deal). If he goes at No. 6, where the Giants are picking, he'd probably land a contract similar to that of Colts guard Quenton Nelson, who was selected sixth overall in 2018 and signed a four-year, $23.8 million deal that is fully guaranteed.
Whether Murray's decision proves to be wise, we won't know for at least a few years from now. There is potential for history to be made this year, though:
Next stop for the Murray train: the NFL Scouting Combine, which begins Feb. 26 in Indianapolis.
"I'm pulling for him just because if he impresses enough teams to be graded as maybe a top 10 pick or more; then, that would mean one more positional player the Browns need would have a higher chance to be come available to Browns, even if they had to do a "trade-up" if they really loved their target. We shall see.