Notes: On Murray, Mariota And Chip

DeMarco Murray

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Greetings from the owners meetings. Some notes to pass along while Sheil gets in a few laps at the Biltmore hotel pool:

* Jerry Jones found himself alone in the center of a Philly media scrum as he tried to navigate his way to a meeting Monday. Safe to say he won’t rank that interaction along with his career highlights. He did answer a few questions while trying to maneuver his way to daylight, though, most of them relating to DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys owner touted Murray’s ability, work ethic and character. Asked if he’s disappointed that the back is no longer with them, he responded:

“Well, we can’t have it all,” he said. “Obviously, we’re trying to help our defense during this free agency, so that was an issue there. Plus, we’ve got a lot of guys that certainly have been key players and we have to have room for them.”

Peter King reported that Dallas’ final offer was for an average of $6 million per season but bailed when the Eagles came in at $8 million per. The Jaguars were in pursuit as well. Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell spoke on that subject.

If true, the Jaguars’ offer was less than the Cowboys’. As Kapadia points out, what made the Jags think Murray would choose them over Dallas at a lower number? Something is off there.

* Jets owner Woody Johnson was asked about the prospects of his team selecting Marcus Mariota with the No. 6 overall pick. More from Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News:

Amid speculation whether the Jets would draft – or trade up for — Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota, Johnson offered a sobering perspective for diehards who have been fed up with [Geno] Smith‘s largely disappointing play in his first two seasons.

“Geno’s probably way ahead of him at this point, believe it or not,” Johnson said at the NFL meetings on Monday. “Whether you guys have skepticism or not… but certainly his college career was good.”…

Mariota, of course, is a tantalizing option for a team searching for a franchise quarterback. The former Oregon signal caller will have a private workout for new general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles on Saturday. Johnson took a measured approach rather than wax poetic about Mariota.

“I don’t have any feeling about it whatsoever,” Johnson said. “We’re in the process of going through all the candidates… and tape and interviews and doing our research. I don’t know who it is at this point, whether it’s Mariota or anybody else.”

* Check out this group photo taken today of all 32 head coaches. Andy Reid really knows how to blend in with the crowd, doesn’t he?

* Patriots owner Robert Kraft gave his take on Chip Kelly and the roster overhaul he’s leading this offseason.

“It’s pretty exciting. If I were an Eagle fan, I’d be excited,” he said. “He did an outstanding job in college. I know my head coach has great respect for him, and he’s trying to put his stamp on what’s going on there. This is a tough league so there will be a lot of challenges but he’s an exciting guy to be around.”

* The funeral arrangements for Eagles legend Chuck Bednarik are in place, the team announced.

A viewing will be held on March 26th from noon-4pm and 6-9pm at Connell Funeral Home, located at 245 E Broad St., Bethlehem, PA.

 A private mass will be held on March 27th for friends and family.