Wake-Up Call: How the Eagles Landed Murray

DeMarco Murray. Photo courtesy of USA Today

DeMarco Murray. Photo courtesy of USA Today

Good old-fashioned recruiting played a significant role in the DeMarco Murray signing, turns out.

While it was initially reported that Murray called Chip Kelly Wednesday, it was actually the other way around. Kelly reached out to Murray, setting the wheels in motion for what turned out to be an eventual union just a day later.

“We talked schemes, we talked sports science and we talked city,” the new Eagles running back told reporters.

As Sam Bradford noted Wednesday, the scheme has similarities to what they ran at Oklahoma. Murray said he loves running from the spread and from the shotgun formation. The numbers seem to back that up: According to ESPN Stats and Information, Murray is second among free-agent running backs in yards-per-rush out of the shotgun over the last two seasons, behind only new backfield partner Ryan Mathews.

The sports science and its potential benefits when it comes to recovery and longevity “excited me more than anything,” he said. As for the city, he called Philadelphia the type of place you want to play in because of the fans. Clearly, Kelly’s words resonated.

The same can be said for Bradford’s. Murray and Bradford were roommates while at Oklahoma. The new Eagles quarterback sent Murray a message soon after being traded to Philly, saying: “Hey, jump on board. Let’s go win it.” Bradford’s presence on the team, he said, had a “huge influence” on his decision to join the Eagles.

The five-year, $40 million deal ($18 million guaranteed) didn’t hurt, either. According to Ed Werder, the Eagles’ offer was considerably better than the one the Cowboys put forth. Still, Murray said it wasn’t the most lucrative offer he received.

“It definitely wasn’t the biggest contract, but it was something about this organization, about the team, it caught my eye and I felt there was a great chance to win here. That’s what you want. You want to be in a place that has great fans, a great coach in Chip Kelly, and a place where you have a chance to win and be successful.

“I felt that this was a great opportunity for me to win a Super Bowl at the end of the day.”


Kelly explains decision to invest $23M guaranteed into the Eagles’ backfield.

There was mixed reaction to Marcus Mariota‘s performance at Oregon’s Pro Day.

The Eagles also signed Ryan Mathews on Thursday.

Brett Hundley reportedly had a private workout and film session with the team.

Evan Mathis is on the trade block, per reports.


Mike Sielski says the Murray signing serves a dual purpose.

The double-barreled benefit of these moves is that Kelly has assembled a versatile and, if healthy, potentially dynamic backfield of Murray, Mathews, and Darren Sproles, and he’s managed to weaken the Cowboys – the defending NFC East champions – by coaxing Murray away from them.

Kelly is thumbing his nose at pro football’s conventional roster-building wisdom, at the notion that a franchise can’t flush away and replenish so significant a portion of its roster, but it’s not just that. He’s sticking it to this city’s most insufferable sports rival: the haughty, entitled Cowboys. He stole away the player who was the centerpiece of Dallas’s offense. It might just make up for the public panic and confusion that greeted his trading McCoy to the Bills and Nick Foles to the Rams. It just might.

Geoff Mosher writes about the head-spinning start to the league year.

In one week, the Eagles’ starting running back went from LeSean McCoy to Frank Gore to Ryan Mathews to DeMarco Murray. (And they still have Mathews.)

In one week, the Eagles’ starting quarterback went from Nick Foles to perhaps Mark Sanchez to maybe Sam Bradford to still maybe Marcus Mariota.

In one week, the Eagles’ best wide receiver went from Jeremy Maclin to … well, we’re still waiting for an answer on that one.

This is one of the most bizarre, unpredictable, surreal offseasons in Eagles history.


More insanity, probably.