NFL 2014 leading rusher DeMarco Murray has ditched the Dallas Cowboys to join the rival Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN. The reported contract calls for Murray to be paid $42 million over five years, with $21 million guaranteed.
The revolving door with the Eagles continues to spin. On Tuesday, they traded running back LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 1,319 yards in 2014, to the Buffalo Bills. McCoy led the NFL in rushing in 2013. On the same day, running back Frank Gore, who had been flirting with the Eagles and reportedly had a deal in place, signed with the Indianapolis Colts. On Wednesday, they reached an agreement with running back Ryan Mathews, although it hadn’t been signed yet.
Despite running behind one of the most feared offensive lines in the NFL with Dallas, other perks beckoned Murray to come to the Eagles. Murray called Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday to avow his admiration for Kelly’s spread offense and his desire to reunite with former Oklahoma roommate and quarterback Sam Bradford, with whom he had played with for the Sooners from 2007-2009.
Bradford admitted he had been recruiting Murray, acknowledging, “Absolutely. I’ve been trying my hardest. 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.”
Kelly, who was scheduled to attend the Oregon Ducks pro day on Thursday, canceled his trip, as Murray reportedly visited Philadelphia.
Dispelling rumors that he had only flirted with the Eagles to drive up the Cowboys’ offer, Murray texted ESPN.com’s Todd Archer, “It was never about the money in any situation. 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.” Archer reported that the offers from the Cowboys and eagles reflected serious financial differences.
Murray exploded at the beginning of 2014, setting a pace that threatened Eric Dickerson’s 30-year-old single-season rushing record. At the end of the year, the closest rival to him in rushing, Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell, finished over 500 yards behind him.