Latavius Murray

Contract Details: Smith, James, Wake

The latest details on deals from around the NFL:

Saints To Sign Latavius Murray

Alvin Kamara has a new understudy. The Saints have agreed to sign former Vikings running back Latavius Murray, according to Adam Schefter of (Twitter links). It’s a four-year, $14.4MM deal, Schefter adds. 

Murray, 29, averaged 4.1 yards per carry last season, his best average since his rookie season with the Raiders. He no longer profiles as a top-end starter, but he could be a phenomenal fit as Kamara’s safety net and change of pace complement.

This time last year, Murray reworked his contract in order to stay with the Vikings. Initially, Murray was set to play out a three-year, $15MM deal through the 2019 season. But, in exchange for accepting a reduced base salary, the Vikings eliminated the ’19 season from his contract.

The unexpected signing likely means that Mark Ingram will not return to New Orleans. The Saints wanted to retain the veteran, but they were also unwilling to give him much more than the $4MM they paid him in 2018. Ingram became a two-time Pro Bowler and enjoyed his best season in 2017 when he amassed 1,540 yards from scrimmage and scored 12 touchdowns. Last year, he only rushed for 645 yards, but he averaged 4.7 per carry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Rams, D. Johnson, Vikings

The Rams hope the chemistry of their new-look defensive will be explosive in the right way, Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today writes. There’s definitely big potential in L.A., but some outsiders aren’t convinced that new additions like cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will gel with the team.

That’s what keeps you young, coaching-wise, is new challenges, and new players, new players that you get to work with. And when you get to work with great players? That’s really fun,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said.

Last year, the Rams were roughly in the middle of the pack in terms of points and passing yards allowed per game while allowing the fifth-most rushing yards per contest. Talib believes that the Rams’ D will improve across the board – especially against the pass.

I’ve been in some great, great secondaries, but top to bottom, with depth, this is probably the best one I’ve played in,” Talib said. “The sky’s the limit, we just have to be on our stuff. Be in meetings on time, get sleep at night. The talent is there, you just have to do the extra stuff.”

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • David Johnson‘s decision to holdout from the Cardinals is a good call, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Although new 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon proved to be an exception this offseason, RBs typically do not garner big money in free agency, so Johnson’s best bet for a big contract is to land one as soon as possible with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald expects Johnson’s camp to push for a deal similar to Devonta Freeman‘s $8.25MM/year pact with the Falcons, given that Johnson is also a former mid-round pick and had a better 2016 than Freeman. However, Freeman is the younger player and has had a more consistent career overall. Ultimately, Fitzgerald expects to see a deal that works out for both sides.
  • Running back Latavius Murray says he never gave any consideration to leaving the Vikings after they requested his salary be cut from $5.15MM to $3.65MM for 2018 (via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press). Even though he might go back to a reserve role, he wanted to stay with a winner. “The most important thing apart from my family and those things that I believe in is winning. So, that’s how I made my decision,” Murray said. “We had been talking throughout the offseason. It didn’t get to the point (that I considered leaving Minnesota), and thankfully I didn’t have to.

Contract Details/Restructures: 3/17/18

Let’s take a look at the most recent new contracts and restructures around the NFL:

New Contracts

  • Allen Robinson, WR (Bears): Three years, $42MM. $25.2MM guaranteed. $6MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Teddy Bridgewater, QB (Jets): One year, $6MM. $1MM guaranteed. $9MM available via playtime incentives (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of
  • Chad Henne, QB (Chiefs): Two years, $6.7MM. $3.1MM signing bonus. Performance incentives and escalators available (Twitter link via Jason Wolf of the Tennessean).


  • Cardinals: Created $500K in 2018 cap space by converting S Antoine Bethea‘s roster bouns into a signing bonus (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Vikings: Created $1.15MM in 2018 cap space by reducing RB Latavius Murray‘s base salary from $5.15MM to $3.65M; his roster bonus from $500K to $250K; and his incentives from $2.3MM to $1MM (Twitter link via Field Yates of

Vikings Restructure RB Latavius Murray’s Deal

The Vikings have restructured the contract of running back Latavius Murray, according to Courtney Cronin of (Twitter link). Murray agreed to a reduced base salary for 2018, though his salary is guaranteed, according to Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter). Meanwhile, the last year of his contract was wiped out. He is now due to be a free agent in 2019.

In 16 games (11 starts), the 28-year-old ultimately finished the campaign with 842 yards and eight touchdowns on 216 carries (3.9 yards per carry). Pro Football Focus ranked Murray 26th among 58 eligible running backs. The former sixth-round pick has proven to be reliable in the red zone, as he rushed for 12 touchdowns with the Raiders in 2016.

The adjustment helped Minnesota clear some cash in order to sign Sheldon Richardson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Vikings, Giants, Norwell, Saints

Remember Zac Stacy? The former Rams and Jets running back is attempting an NFL comeback, according to Cameron Wolfe of (Twitter link), who spotted Stacy at Vanderbilt’s Pro Day earlier today. Stacy, who turns 27 next month, hasn’t played since 2015, and announced his retirement at this time last year following an ankle injury. The Rams’ starter as a rookie in 2013, Stacy racked up 973 yards and seven touchdowns during his only campaign as a team’s primary back. New York eventually acquired Stacy for a seventh-round pick, but he managed only 31 total rushes before hanging up his cleats.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Now that Kirk Cousins is closing in on a fully guaranteed deal with the Vikings, at least one source tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link) that Minnesota could ask running back Latavius Murray or defensive end Brian Robison to accept a pay cut in 2018. Murray got into the end zone eight times in 2017, but he’s due to count more than $6MM on next year’s cap and isn’t a lock to start given that rookie sensation Dalvin Cook will return from injury. Robison, meanwhile, hasn’t even decided if he’ll play during the upcoming season. If he retires, the Vikings will pick up $3.488MM in cap space, the same total as if he retires.
  • Guard Andrew Norwell was considered the Giants‘ primary free agent target this offseason, and while he ultimately landed with the Jaguars, New York’s offer was close if not the same as Jacksonville’s, tweets Jordan Raanan of Norwell is now the league’s highest-paid after receiving $13MM annually (and $30MM guaranteed) on a five-year deal. New Giants general manager Dave Gettleman originally signed Norwell as an undrafted free agent in Carolina, so the connection made plenty of sense, but Norwell simply chose the Jaguars, per Raanan.
  • New details have emerged on veteran safety Kurt Coleman‘s three-year deal with the Saints, as Josh Katzenstein of writes. In total, the pact is worth $16.35MM, but Coleman can earn another $2.25MM via incentives. Coleman will collect $6.2MM in full guarantees, $4.5MM of which will come in the form of a signing bonus. However, Coleman’s new contract is heavily back-loaded, as his 2018 cap charge is just $3.3MM. New Orleans will have a decision to make in 2019, as Coleman has a $500K roster bonus on the third day of the league year — he could be released with $3MM in dead money accelerating onto the club’s cap.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Mariota, Vikings

The latest on a pair of NFC franchises:

  • Philadelphia was reportedly aggressive in trying to trade up to No. 2 in the 2015 draft to land quarterback Marcus Mariota, who played under then-Eagles head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon in 2012. But Kelly shot that down in a discussion with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, revealing that talks didn’t go anywhere because Tennessee wasn’t interested in moving the pick (via Matt Lombardo of “That’s all speculation that’s out there, you hear stories that ‘we offered this, we offered that,” said Kelly. “We didn’t offer anything because they weren’t taking any offers for it.” Unable to move up 18 spots to land Mariota, the Eagles ultimately stayed at No. 20 and selecting wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who has disappointed in the NFL. Kelly didn’t even finish out the 2015 season with the Eagles, who fired him prior to Week 17 and then went on to select a different potential franchise signal-caller, Carson Wentz, after moving up to No. 2 overall (by way of a trade with the Browns) in 2016.
  • Just over a month after signing running back Latavius Murray in free agency, presumably to start, the Vikings selected ex-Florida State rusher Dalvin Cook in the second round of the draft. Murray addressed that Wednesday, telling NFL Network (per Kevin Patra of “I was home, watching the draft — I try to keep up regardless, just with the game itself. So they draft him. It wasn’t a surprise. When you see a guy, again, first-round potential sitting there in the second round, they snatch him up, you can’t be surprised. It motivates me regardless, because they’re always going to bring in somebody to take over for your position.” Even with Cook in the fold, Murray expects to rack up the lion’s share of the Vikings’ rushing attempts in 2017, and the ex-Raider plans to mentor the younger back. “As I said, MJD [Maurice Jones-Drew], Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, those guys did everything they could to try and help me be a better player, and I’m going to do the same for Dalvin,” Murray noted. “Again, it’s going to come down to who is going to be the best player that can play. Because I give Dalvin knowledge and try to help him, doesn’t mean, OK, that I shouldn’t go out there and outperform him and outcompete.”
  • The Vikings believe they may have a steal on their hands in another newcomer, defensive tackle Will Sutton, suggests Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. Sutton, whom the NFC North rival Bears cut in May and who signed with the Vikings a week later, wasn’t playing in an ideal scheme in Chicago, according to Minnesota’s brass. “We felt like when [the Bears] went to a 3-4, it was probably not a real good fit for him,” said Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. “His game is based on quickness and acceleration and penetration, so we’ve kind of had our eye on him for a while.” Pro Football Focus disagrees with Zimmer, for what it’s worth, as the outlet gave Sutton easily the best grade of his three-year career last season. He posted poor marks over the two prior seasons, though, including a rookie campaign (2014) spent in a 4-3.

North Notes: Cribbs, Vikings, Ravens, Ross

Former ace return man Josh Cribbs has officially retired from the NFL, the Browns announced today. Cribbs, 33, hasn’t played since the 2014 campaign, but was a force when he was on the field. In eight seasons with Cleveland, Cribbs earned two All Pro and three Pro Bowl berths. Along with Leon Washington, Cribbs is the NFL’s all-time leader in kickoff return touchdowns with eight.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two North divisions:

  • Before he signed with the Eagles, the Vikings expressed interest in free agent wide receiver Torrey Smith, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets. Smith ultimately signed with Philadelphia for one year and $5MM on a contract that contains two option years and only $500K guaranteed. The Vikings, meanwhile, haven’t added to their wideout corps this offseason, but they did tender — and then extend — restricted free agent Adam Thielen.
  • The Ravens will conduct a predraft visit with Washington wide receiver John Ross, according to Jamison Hensley of Ross, who notably ran a 4.22 40-yard dash at the combine earlier this month, underwent shoulder surgery last week, so Baltimore will presumably check in on the status of his injury. As Hensley notes, the Ravens could use a wideout after losing both Steve Smith (retirement) and Kamar Aiken (free agency).
  • The Vikings announced that new running back Latavius Murray underwent ankle surgery today, an operation the club was aware would be required when they signed Murray to a three-year deal last week. Minnesota fully expects Murray to be available when training camp begins this summer. Murray’s injury was “not a secret” as he took free agent visits, tweets Adam Caplan of

Contract Details: Murray, Williams, Jones

The latest contract details from around the NFL:

  • We learned earlier this week that Latavius Murray‘s new contract with the Vikings could be voided after one season, making the running back a free agent again in 2018. Mike Florio of notes that the player essentially has another team option for the third season of the contract. Therefore, Murray’s spot on the Vikings roster will presumably be reevaluated every offseason.
  • Nose tackle Sylvester Williamsdeal with the Titans is worth $17.5MM over three years, reports’s Paul Kuharsky. The deal includes a $3MM signing bonus. In 2017, Williams is due a $2MM base salary and a $2MM roster bonus (which was paid last Monday), and his base salaries will eventually increase to $5MM (2018) and $5.5MM (2019). $2.5MM of his 2018 is now guaranteed for injury.
  • Linebacker Jarvis Jones‘ one-year contract with the Cardinals includes a $1MM base salary, reports Mike Jurecki of FoxSports910 in Arizona (via Twitter). The former first-rounder, who finished last season with a career-high 42 tackles, can earn additional money via incentives.

Contract Details: Lacy, Vikings, Titans, Bears

The latest contract details from around the NFL:

  • ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link) offers further information on the weight-related incentives in Eddie Lacy‘s contract with the Seahawks: The running back can earn $55K in incentives for each month from May to December if he’s at or below the designated weight in his deal. Those weights are 255 pounds (May), 250 (June-August) and 245 (September-December). Lacy recently weighed in at 267 pounds during a free agent visit.
  • Running back Latavius Murray‘s three-year accord with the Vikings comes with a chance to earn $2.3MM in incentives for rushing yards (it’s unclear how many), escalators in 2018 ($2MM) and 2019 ($4MM) based on rushing yards, and an annual Pro Bowl incentive, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
  • Defensive end/outside linebacker Datone Jones‘ one-year deal with the Vikings features a $1.6MM signing bonus and per-game roster bonuses of $31,250 each (up to $500K), a $150K workout bonus and $1.25MM in incentives for sacks and playing time, reports ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.
  • Titans linebacker Daren Bates‘ three-year contract is worth $5.6MM and includes a $500K signing bonus, per ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky.
  • Offensive tackle Tom Compton‘s agreement with the Bears is a one-year, $1.85MM deal with $850K in guarantees and $400K in incentives, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Cornerback Johnthan Banks‘ one-year pact is worth $855K and features $200K in guarantees and an $80K signing bonus.