6:06pm: The Eagles announced that they have signed Murray to a five-year deal, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
12:58pm: The Eagles and DeMarco Murray have reached financial agreement on a deal, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network (on Twitter). The deal is expected to be a five-year, $42MM pact, according to Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The pact will include a whopping $21MM guaranteed.
Murray, who has struggled with injuries in years past, put it all together in 2014 for his best campaign yet. The 26-year-old ran for 1,845 yards and 13 scores with 2,261 all-purpose yards. After a season in which he showed that he can stay healthy, produce (4.7 YPC), and work at a nearly unprecedented rate, Murray hit the open market as the top available. The advanced numbers also showed that Murray was also at the top of the heap last season. Pro Football Focus‘ numbers (subscription required) resulted in an overall score of 15.2, placing him fifth amongst all tailbacks in 2014. His lack of meaningful production in the passing game, fumbles, and below average blocking were his only real demerits.
Still, there were some critics who felt that his workload in 2014 was actually a negative given his age and medical records. In fact, the incumbent Cowboys were only willing to spend so much to retain the running back after cranking up his odometer. Based on a recent round of Murray rumors, it sounds as if the Cowboys’ most recent offer to their running back was in the $5MM per year range. The Eagles didn’t just beat the Cowboys’ total offer; they also put far more guaranteed money on the table than Dallas did.
With Murray in the fold, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with running back Ryan Mathews. The former Chargers notable agreed to sign with Philly this week but the addition of Murray could throw his situation into flux. The addition of Murray might not lead to Mathews’ deal getting ripped up, but it could lead to a reworking of the terms as they relate to his performance incentives.
As for the Cowboys, they’re probably going to turn their attention to the draft to find reinforcements at running back, Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com tweets. There likely isn’t a tailback worth spending big bucks on in free agency and they’d be better off spending that cash on defensive reinforcements. Murray texted Charean Williams of the Star-Telegram (on Twitter) on Thursday, presumably to let her know that he won’t be returning to the Cowboys:
“Things didn’t work out. No hard feelings at all. Wish those guys the best,” Murray said.
The Jaguars and Raiders were also heavily linked to Murray during the free agency period.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.