Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray, teammates at Oklahoma, are being reunited in Philly!
By Ben Sullivan
Eagles fans will have to decide what is the best thing about DeMarco Murray joining the Birds for the 2015 season:
Signing the 2014 leading rusher in the NFL — 1,845 yards; or
Denying the hated Dallas Cowboys his services.
In either event, Murray is joining the Cowboys’ NFC East rival Eagles, who last week traded the 2013 rushing leader LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills.
“It was never about the money in any situation,” Murray texted ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. “If it was the money I could’ve taken that a long time ago on a very high deal. It’s about winning a Super Bowl and being fair.”
Murray is expected to sign a five-year, $42 million deal, including $21 million guaranteed, with the Eagles, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
Of the $21 million, $18 million is guaranteed for skill and injury.
If Murray’s deal goes through, it could complicate the future for former San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, who on Wednesday reached agreement with the Eagles on a three-year, $11.5 million deal, including $5 million guaranteed.
Asked whether Mathews will sign the deal he agreed to with the Eagles, a source told Schefter, “We shall see.”
Murray flew to Philly this morning to meet with Eagles officials. In the ensuing hours, the Cowboys began calling around looking for other running backs, Schefter’s sources said.
Sources told Archer that there was a significant difference in the guaranteed money offered to Murray by the Cowboys and the Eagles.
Murray personally reached out to Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday morning, expressing his desire to play in Kelly’s spread offense and with former Oklahoma roommate and quarterback Sam Bradford, league and team sources told Mortensen.
Murray’s call was enough to jump-start tepid interest from the Eagles. Kelly has made it publicly and privately clear the team will be financially prudent in their personnel decisions. Kelly did not go to Oregon’s pro day Thursday, opting to remain in Philadelphia to meet and greet Murray.
Aside from the contract, the Eagles are the most appealing to Murray because of his belief in their chance to win.
During his discussion with Kelly, a source said Murray characterized Bradford, who was acquired by the Eagles from the Rams on Tuesday, as one of his best friends. Both operated successfully out of Oklahoma’s spread offense when they were teammates from 2007 through 2009. Murray also played the 2010 season at Oklahoma after Bradford moved on to the NFL.
“Absolutely. I’ve been trying my hardest,” Bradford said Wednesday of trying to recruit Murray. “I’ve called him. I’ve texted him. I’ve done everything. We’ve been in communication. If we can somehow land him, it would be a great pickup. Not only is he a great player, he’s a great person. He’s a really close friend of mine, too. I think he can really help this ball club.”
Of course, Murray just won the rushing title in 2014 for Dallas, running behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.