It looks like Kyler Murray’s tenure as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback will be one-and-done.
According to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland A’s will announce that Murray has signed with the team on Friday. As part of that announcement, the team will say Murray will report to minor-league spring training with the team in early 2019.
Murray is a junior at Oklahoma and would be forgoing his senior season of football eligibility with the school. He had previously announced that he wouldn’t be joining the A’s immediately and would be staying at Oklahoma for the 2018 season. Murray hasn’t been named Oklahoma’s starting quarterback but it’s widely expected that he’ll take over for Heisman winner and No. 1 NFL draft pick Baker Mayfield.
Why would Murray skip his senior season?
The answer is simple. Money. And it’s hard to take issue with Murray’s decision. He was drafted No. 9 overall in the 2018 MLB draft and could receive approximately $5 million guaranteed from the team. Murray has played both football and baseball at Oklahoma since transferring from Texas A&M.
The chances of Murray going in the top 10 in the NFL draft are slim-to-none. He should maximize his earning potential as soon as possible, even if it means cutting his college football career short.
The Chronicle also reports that Murray’s contract with the A’s includes an insurance policy in case he gets hurt playing football. Insurance clauses for players playing their likely final seasons of college football aren’t uncommon. Schools are even allowed to pay for them from their student assistance funds under NCAA rules. Texas A&M purchased a loss-of-value insurance policy for offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi before the 2014 season.
Murray isn’t the only player who has made his pro intentions known
While Murray is leaving college football after 2018 to play baseball, there’s another college football star who is heading to the NFL after 2018.
Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver, widely regarded as a top-five pick in the 2019 NFL draft, said earlier this year that the 2018 season would be his last. Much like Murray — but in a different sport — Oliver would be silly to pass up millions of dollars guaranteed for one final season of playing college football for a scholarship and a stipend.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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