DeMarco Murray doesn’t have a contract three days into the official start of free agency. That was unexpected. But his eventual home could rank as even more unexpected.
Murray, 27, will travel to Philadelphia today to meet with the Eagles, according to a source.
The Oakland Raiders, who have salary-cap room to burn, and the Eagles have emerged as suitors for Murray. The Cowboys hope they still are in the hunt for the All-Pro running back, but they have insisted all along that they have a comfortable price in mind and appear unwilling to budge.
Murray reportedly called Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday morning to express his interest in Philadelphia. Murray relishes the idea of playing in Kelly’s offense, with his former Oklahoma teammate, quarterback Sam Bradford, who joined the Eagles via a trade Tuesday.
A source said that Kelly would like to add Murray into the fold, and that the Eagles are making Murray a strong offer. Bradford made it known he has reached out to Murray to join him in Philly.
“I’ve been trying my hardest,” Bradford said at a news conference. “I called him. I’ve texted him. I’ve done everything. We’ve been in communication, and I think if we could somehow land DeMarco, it would be a great pickup.”
The Eagles already made a splash with their running game by trading LeSean McCoy to Buffalo before signing former Chargers running back Ryan Mathews to a three-year contract worth a reported $11.5 million with $5 million guaranteed. They also have Darren Sproles and Chris Polk on their roster.
But Murray is the NFL’s reigning rushing leader, as he set the Cowboys’ single-season rushing record last season with 1,845 yards. He also had more than 400 carries, counting the playoffs, which could have deterred some teams from pursuing him.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders have also been linked to Murray. New Raiders linebacker Curtis Lofton, like Bradford, has attempted to recruit his former college teammate.
“Man, I think you can’t have too many good players on one team, or too many good Sooners that were former Sooners on one team,” Lofton said on a conference call with Oakland reporters. “I reached out to DeMarco. I think he has a lot on his plate right now and I would love for him to be a part of this team. Man, it would be awesome to get him.”
No numbers as far as contract terms have been leaked out. Murray reportedly has been seeking a deal that pays him in excess of $8 million a season, but that seems far-fetched at this point in free agency. The Eagles are not in shape, it’s believed, to make that type of offer. The Raiders, though, are the one team left in the hunt that realistically could.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys continue to wait, letting Murray explore the market in hopes he doesn’t find everything he’s looking for somewhere else and returns to Dallas on a team-friendly deal.
If Murray does decide to leave, the Cowboys won’t be in terrible shape considering the draft is deep with running backs and free agents such as C.J. Spiller remain on the market.
Staff writer Drew Davison contributed to this report.