Despite already signing a running back, the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t done filling that position and might end up locking up DeMarco Murray, who at the moment is closer to leaving the Dallas Cowboys for a division rival than staying after a short taste of free agency.
Murray led the NFL in rushing last season but that hasn’t helped him get the money he’d like to be seeing on his next contract (around $8 million a season). The Cowboys had the option of franchising him but preferred tagging Dez Bryant, sending Murray out into the big world in hope that he’ll come back with lessened demands.
The Eagles traded their star running back, LeSean McCoy, and missed out on Frank Gore, preferring to pull a 180 and go with the Indianapolis Colts. So they went with a talented but often injured option, Ryan Mathews of the San Diego Chargers. Together with Sam Bradford and other additions Chip Kelly has made this offseason, it seems that injury prone players is his way of building this team towards the playoffs.
Bradford is the key link here in the potential deal between Murray and Philadelphia. The two played together in college at Oklahoma. Bradford did his recruiting, Murray called up Chip Kelly and got himself a chance to join the team. He seems to be quite happy to play in the kind of spread offense the Eagles are going to utilize next season.
What might set this deal back? Chip Kelly has publicly stated that the Eagles are going to prudent with the way they handle their financial business. Murray is a running back following a season in which he had over 400 touches. That usually is the beginning of the decline. Him playing behind a star studded offensive line doesn’t help his case of being the best running back in the league. He’s good, but not good enough to break the bank for.
And in the background, there are the Dallas Cowboys, waiting for this negotiation to break down. They would very much like to re-sign Murray and keep as much as possible from their offense that did so well last season, but right now the leading rusher of the 2014 season is still trying to find a team that’s willing to pay him the kind of money he thinks he deserves.