Kyler Murray NFL Draft rumors: Oklahoma QB will reportedly declare as he leans towards football career

As chatter has emerged about Kyler Murray's future, it's become increasingly clear that the Heisman Trophy winner is not guaranteed to take the money and run to baseball, despite being selected No. 9 overall by the Oakland A's in the 2018 MLB Draft. In fact, it appears Murray is going to at least test the 2019 NFL Draft waters. 

"The A's expect" Murray "to declare for the NFL draft," they reportedly don't seem entirely torn up about the issue, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle

"Contractually, it is not a big deal," one source with knowledge of the situation told Slusser. "No harm in doing so."

That's because declaring for the draft means nothing. What will matter is how he handles the scouting combine in late February. As Slusser notes, the A's open camp on Feb. 15 in Mesa, Arizona. Murray skipping that to attend the combine would send a pretty big shockwave towards the A's. 

Slusser reports Murray is "leaning towards football," primarily because he believes he could be a first-round pick in a weak quarterback class. If Murray went to the NFL and ditched the A's, he would have to pay his MLB signing bonus back, but the A's would get hosed by not receiving a compensation pick. 

Back in early December, after Murray had won the Heisman Trophy and rumors about where he would potentially get selected began percolating, we wrote about the weird nature of the situation. It's easy to just tell Murray to take the guaranteed money that baseball offers, but going the baseball route means taking $4.5 million to play for several years before getting the contract clock going in the majors. 

In the NFL, if Murray were to be drafted in the first round, he would make significantly more money out of the gate: Lamar Jackson was the 32nd overall pick in last year's draft and signed a four-year contract worth more than $9.47 million. That contract would come with a fifth-year option that would pay Murray another huge chunk of "guaranteed" (for injury anyway) money. And after that, if Murray was successful, he could sign a massive contract with the team that drafted him.

Baseball money is better than football money, but a great quarterback can get stupid rich much faster than a stud baseball prospect. As much as there's a fail rate for quarterbacks in the NFL, there's also a fairly low success rate for top prospects in baseball. 

Murray, who was taken ninth overall by the A's in the 2019 MLB Draft, has repeatedly made a point to say he would play baseball after he was drafted.

Clearly that is taking a turn in a completely different direction. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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