OAKLAND -- Kyler Murray is due in big league camp with the A's next week. Oakland's 2018 ninth-round Draft pick is also now due to leave camp -- assuming he shows up at all -- for a week-long stay in Indianapolis that could provide this two-sport standout clarity on his
OAKLAND -- Kyler Murray is due in big league camp with the A's next week. Oakland's 2018 ninth-round Draft pick is also now due to leave camp -- assuming he shows up at all -- for a week-long stay in Indianapolis that could provide this two-sport standout clarity on his future in football.
Murray, who declared for the NFL draft last month following his Heisman-winning campaign with Oklahoma, is listed among 338 official participants set to attend the NFL combine, which begins Feb. 26 -- 11 days after he is required to report to the A's spring complex in Mesa, Ariz.
Attending the NFL scouting combine wouldn't necessarily spell an end to Murray's baseball career, but it would undoubtedly muddle the prospect of one. It's unclear just what the A's would do should he break from camp for Indy. They could allow it, which would likely require restructuring of his contract, and hope he comes running back to them; or they could place him on the restricted list and recoup his $4.66 million signing bonus.
They would not receive a compensation pick in this June's Draft should Murray choose football over baseball, but they would, however, retain his baseball rights in the event he revisits the sport at a future time. To this point, the two sides have remained in constant -- and cordial -- communication.
Publicly, Murray has been mum when asked about his looming decision, most recently dodging questions in an awkward interview on the Dan Patrick Show last week. When asked specifically if he will report to Spring Training, Murray did not give Patrick an answer.
Ideally, Murray would prefer to play both sports, which is believed to be a nearly impossible venture considering the demands of playing quarterback in the NFL. A batch of projections have the 5-foot-10 quarterback going in the first round of the NFL draft in April, but it's also possible he slips to the third round.
The sooner he's selected, the likelier it is Murray takes a chance on the NFL.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.