DeMarco Murray

Dolphins To Meet With RB DeMarco Murray

Free agent running back DeMarco Murray will visit the Dolphins on Sunday, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reported earlier today that Miami had inquired on Murray, who has also met with the Seahawks and Lions since getting a pink slip from the Titans.

Murray, 30, is coming off of a down season in which he amassed just 659 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. On a per-tote basis, it matched the career low he set in his lone season with the Eagles. He did have 39 catches for 266 yards, however, and may be capable of getting back to his old form with a new team. Murray ultimately graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 running back in the league.

Murray would certainly provide the Dolphins will some experience at running back, as the team’s current options are all 26 or younger. Behind projected starter Kenyan Drake, Miami is also rostering Senorise PerryDe’Veon Smith, and Brandon Radcliff.

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Seahawks To Host RB DeMarco Murray

The Seahawks will host free agent running back DeMarco Murray after he meets with the Lions on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Seattle fielded one of the league’s worst running games in 2017, as the club ranked in the bottom third of the NFL in both yards per rush and rushing DVOA. While the Seahawks will return Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise, and J.D. McKissic in 2018, Eddie Lacy is an unrestricted free agent while Thomas Rawls and Mike Davis are restricted free agents.

Murray, whom the Titans released last week, is not only entering his age-30 campaign, but coming off the worst season of his career. While he appeared in 15 games, Murray ceded work to second-year back Derrick Henry, and tied a career-low with only 3.6 yards per carry.

It’s not all bad news for Murray, however, as he was still able to manage 39 receptions in the passing game. Additionally, Murray is only one season removed from a 1,200 yard season on the ground, and — even in down year — still ranked as a league-average back in DVOA, Football Outsiders‘ per-play value metric.

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DeMarco Murray To Meet With Lions

Former Titans running back DeMarco Murray is scheduled to visit the Lions on Monday, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Murray secured his release from Tennessee on Thursday, making him eligible for free agency right away.

Murray, 30, is coming off of a down season in which he amassed just 659 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. On a per-tote basis, it matched the career low he set in his lone season with the Eagles. He did have 39 catches for 266 yards, however, and may be capable of getting back to his old form with a new team.

The Lions are in serious need of help in the backfield after finishing at or near the bottom in every statistical measure of rushing. Detroit owns the No. 20 selection in this year’s draft, but they may prefer to use that pick to bolster their pass rush or another area of the team.

Last year, Murray graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 running back in the league. That’s nothing to write home about, but pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick (No. 24) was the only Detroit RB to place higher.

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NFC Notes: Sherman, Lions, Redskins, Bucs

Richard Sherman‘s contract with the 49ers is not yet official, reports Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (via Twitter). The reporter doesn’t anticipate any issues with the deal, but since Sherman is acting as his own agent, Maiocco expects the NFLPA “to spend a lot of time” going over the details of the contract.

Meanwhile, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com believes that details of the reported three-year, $39MM deal are a “mirage.” Most of the incentives and specifics of the contract were reported yesterday, but Florio is under the impression that the deal will ultimately come in at a much lower total. The writer notes that Sherman can only make $13MM next season if he “dresses for all 16 regular-season games, achieves the total playing-time threshold, and make it to the NFC Pro Bowl team (or, possibly, the AP All-Pro team).”

Let’s take a look at some other notes out of the NFC…

  • If a top-tier quarterback were to fall to the second round, ESPN.com’s John Keim is uncertain if the Redskins would use a pick on a future starter. The writer notes that the team is set to have Alex Smith under contract for at least three seasons, and Colt McCoy will still be around in 2018. Generally, head coach Jay Gruden has preferred to keep only two signal-callers on his roster. However, if someone like Lamar Jackson were to fall to pick number-44, Keim could see the Redskins trying to convince the quarterback to develop into a multi-purpose weapon for the time being.
  • If the Lions don’t envision tight end Eric Ebron being in their future plans, ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein believes it makes sense for the organization to get something for the player via trade. However, if the team plans to trade Ebron and replace him with someone like Jimmy Graham, Rothstein doesn’t understand the logic. The two tight ends put up similar numbers in 2017, and Graham is seven years older than Ebron. Ultimately, the writer doesn’t believe a player like Graham would provide a massive upgrade over Ebron.
  • The Lions do need an early-down running back, but Rothstein doesn’t believe veteran DeMarco Murray would be a good fit. The running back’s age and declining numbers make the writer wary, and he anticipates the Pro Bowler would earn more than his fellow free agents. Plus, Rothstein points out that there are younger, more intriguing options available via free agency.
  • With $28MM in cap space and six key contributors heading to free agency, the Lions will look the revamp their defense this offseason, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Detroit could conceivably be eyeing holes on every unit of their defense, including defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back. “From a needs standpoint, we’re going to make sure obviously we have enough competition in all the situations and you want to have good competition, the best competition you can possibly get,” head coach Matt Patricia said of his team’s offseason approach. “So you’re never going to really try to pass up an opportunity for a good player on your team, and whether that puts someone else that’s maybe a good player on your team in a hard spot or a competitive situation, then that’s probably good for you. So that’s what we’re going to do as we go through.” The Lions are apparently already looking to make some moves, as the team is set to meet with cornerback DeShawn Shead this week.
  • The Buccaneers want Brent Grimes back next season, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Of course, as the reporter notes, the veteran’s return will depend on the offer. The 34-year-old spent the past two seasons in Tampa Bay, compiling seven interceptions in 29 games.

Titans Release DeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray will not be part of a third Titans team. Tennessee made the decision to release the veteran running back on Thursday.

No additional guaranteed money remained on Murray’s Eagles-constructed deal, and he will venture into free agency again — this time as a street free agent.

The Titans will save $6.5MM by releasing their two-year starter, who did not perform as well in 2017 as he had during a Pro Bowl 2016 slate. The team will now turn to Derrick Henry, who ate into a bigger portion of Murray’s workload in his second season.

With free agency less than a week away, Tennessee is now projected to hold more than $53MM in cap space.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Murray turned 30 last month and has now averaged 3.6 yards per carry in two of his past three seasons. While his previous two even years — a first-team All-Pro appearance with the Cowboys in 2014 and amassing 1,664 yards from scrimmage two years later — have been superb, his work with the 2015 Eagles and ’17 Titans don’t paint a portrait of reliability.

Although, this free agent running back class is not particularly strong. Murray could generate a market, albeit one at a much lower rate than what he commanded from the then-Chip Kelly-run Eagles three years ago.

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Rapoport On Bryant, Cobb, Nelson, Murray

It’s cutting season, and there are several big name veterans on the chopping block. Here’s the latest from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (video links):

  • Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant is a candidate for release, but Rapoport’s understanding is that Dallas plans to move forward with him, in part because of all of the resources they have already invested in him. It’s far from a lock that he’ll return under his current contract, however. Bryant, who will turn 30 during the upcoming season, is due a base salary of $12.5MM in 2018. The Cowboys could ask Bryant to accept a pay cut/extension that will make his contract a bit more palatable.
  • The Packers have two big-name WRs of their own who could be cap casualties. Rapoport gets the sense that either Randall Cobb or Jordy Nelson will be shown the door. Based on recent production, it could be Cobb who is cut loose. Cobb is slated to carry a $12.72MM cap hit in the final year of his deal, but the team can save $9.47MM with just $3.25MM in dead money if they release him.
  • Rapoport speculates that the Titans could cut running back DeMarco Murray, which makes sense given the presence of Derrick Henry. Murray is slated to count for $6.75MM against the cap this year and next, but those are completely non-guaranteed seasons. In 2017, the 30-year-old finished with 659 fewer rushing yards than he amassed in 2016, a Pro Bowl campaign. His yards-per-carry average also dipped from 4.4 to 3.6.
  • Tyrod Taylor is a release candidate for the Bills, but Rapoport rightly notes that the team is more likely to trade him given the need for quarterbacks around the league.

Titans’ DeMarco Murray Ruled Out

The Titans will be without the services of DeMarco Murray when they face the Patriots on Saturday. The running back was unable to practice on Wednesday and has been ruled out for the divisional round showdown, the team announced. DeMarco Murray

Without Murray, the Titans will once again center their running game around Derrick Henry. The 23-year-old gained 191 yards from scrimmage against the Chiefs, including 156 yards rushing and a touchdown off of 23 carries.

That was his big coming out party,” Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan said last week. “If he runs like that, we’re going to be all right.”

If Henry does not offer up a repeat performance, it could be a rough afternoon for Tennessee. The Patriots are currently favored by 13.5 points.

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Extra Points: Broncos, Talib, Jaguars, Lee

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib wants to finish his career with the Broncos, but he also knows that a return might not be in the cards.

If I wasn’t [returning], it wouldn’t be the most surprising thing in the world,” Talib said on Denver’s Altitude 950 (transcription via Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post). “You have three corners making big money and that’s rare to have. I had conversations with our staff during our exit meetings and stuff, so it’s kind of up in the air. But I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still here. Just put it like this: I had good conversations with [head coach] Vance [Joseph], with [defensive coordinator] Joe Woods. I mean, things change. But there’s a chance I will be back.”

Talib, 31, has two years left on the five-year deal he signed with the Broncos in 2014. He’s slated to carry a cap hit of $12MM in 2018, but the team can release him and carry just $1MM in dead money. If Talib wants to stay in Denver, he’ll probably have to take a pay cut to make it happen. The Broncos can’t afford to squander any of their cap room, particularly with Bradley Roby’s salary increasing from ~$1MM to $8.5MM next season.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee did not practice on Wednesday and may not practice this week. However, the belief is that he will be able to take the field against the Bills this weekend, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Lee had the most receptions of any Jags receiver this year (56) and finished second in receiving yards (702). If Lee cannot go, Jacksonville will have to lean a bit more heavily on Allen Hurns, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole.
  • Meanwhile, Titans running back DeMarco Murray has been ruled out of Saturday’s Wild Card game against the Chiefs (Twitter link via Rapoport). As a result, Derrick Henry will see a larger share of carries.
  • The Giants‘ interview with Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is scheduled for Friday, Rapoport tweets.
  • The Cardinals will have their interview with Patricia on Saturday, Rapoport hears. Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores is set to interview on the same day.
  • The Lions will get to talk with Patricia over the weekend, according to Rapoport.

DeMarco Murray Out For Week 17

DeMarco Murray is dealing with a badly sprained knee and will not be available in the Titans’ crucial Week 17 contest, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

Tennessee’s starting running back is dealing with the most severe of MCL tears, and while he initially expressed optimism he could play through it against the Jaguars, the Titans are going to rest him Sunday. The Titans, however, will not place Murray on IR, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets.

The Titans will lean on Derrick Henry for ground support in hopes of advancing to their first AFC playoff bracket in nine years. Henry’s been a bigger part of the offense in his second season than he was in 2016, and Murray’s numbers have declined as well. But the team refusing to place its starting back on IR indicates it is at least considering a healthy Murray-Henry setup taking the field in a playoff game.

Murray suffered the knee injury in Week 16. He will finish his second Titans season with more than 600 fewer rushing yards (659) than he amassed last year in a Pro Bowl campaign. The seventh-year runner’s yards-per-carry figure (3.6) is also nearly a yard off his ’16 pace.

Tennessee faces a win-and-in scenario against a Jaguars team that is already locked into the AFC’s No. 3 seed, so prospects are encouraging for the Titans to end that lengthy playoff drought. Henry is averaging 4.7 yards per tote and leads the team with 693 rushing yards.

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Murray Suffered Third Degree MCL Tear

An MRI revealed that Titans running back DeMarco Murray has a third degree MCL tear, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The veteran back believes he can play through the injury with the Titans aiming for a playoff spot. DeMarco Murray

This is a change from Schefter original report on Sunday night that Murray sprained his MCL in the Week 16 tilt with the Rams. Murray’s status is still up in the air, with head coach Mike Mularkey saying on Sunday night the back was day-to-day and commenting on his toughness.

The Titans currently own the final wildcard spot in the AFC with an 8-7 record and just need a win vs. the Jaguars, or losses from both the Chargers and Bill, to get into the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Though in front for the final spot, Tennessee has dropped three consecutive games.

If Murray was to be held out of action, 2016 second-round pick Derrick Henry would assume the role of lead back. Henry has been the better back, out-gaining Murray by 34 yards on 36 fewer carries.

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