NFL rushing champion DeMarco Murray has agreed to a five-year, $42 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, per multiple reports.
DeMarco Murray is joining the Philadelphia Eagles.
League sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen on March 12 that Murray has agreed to ink a five-year, $42 million deal with $21 million in guaranteed money. "Of the $21 million, $18 million is guaranteed for skill and injury," they add.
The Dallas Cowboys reportedly offered $6 million per year to retain Murray's services, per sources who told ESPN's Ed Werder. However, he was seeking a contract which offered $8 million to $10 million annually with a guaranteed purse between the $20 million and $25 million range.
In the end, Werder's source says Philly's offer was "considerably ahead of the Cowboys on all fronts."
NFL Media's Albert Breer (via NFL.com's Conor Orr) confirmed on Thursday that Murray has agreed to sign with the Eagles.
For his part, Murray told ESPN's Todd Archer in a text message that signing with a title contender takes precedence over money. "It was never about the money in any situation," Murray texted. "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."
The ESPN update also stresses Murray's impending signing with the Eagles "won't affect" Ryan Mathews' situation with the team, refuting an earlier report from a source who said otherwise. Mathews, formerly of the San Diego Chargers, signed a three-year, $11.5 million contract with $5 million in guaranteed money on Thursday.
Murray reached out to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly on Wednesday, saying he wants to be part of a high-octane, spread offense. He was also looking forward to a reunion with former Oklahoma Sooners teammate Sam Bradford, whom Philadelphia acquired in a blockbuster trade for Nick Foles this week, per ESPN.
Once Murray sent feelers to the Eagles, their interest piqued. According to ESPN, Kelly even skipped Oregon's Pro Day on March 12 to meet with the now-former Cowboys running back.
When the two met, Murray told Kelly he considers Bradford as one of his best friends dating back to their days with the Sooners from 2007-09, per ESPN. Bradford even admitted to making a pitch to Murray:
"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 ballclub."
On the other hand, Kelly wanted a running back in Murray's mold to replace LeSean McCoy, whom the Eagles traded to the Buffalo Bills last week for linebacker Kiko Alonso. McCoy signed a nearly-identical deal to the tune of five years and $40 million with $26.05 million in guaranteed money, per NFL.com.
ESPN Stats & Information confirms Murray is the league's first leading rusher who will play for a different team the following season due to free agency.
CSN Philly Eagles Insider Geoff Mosher says Philadelphia had $50 million in cap space prior to agreeing to terms with Murray. ESPN's Andrew Brandt (via CSN Philly) reported this week the Eagles are considering restructuring or extending Bradford's deal. He is entering the last year of a five-year contract with a $12.95 million salary-cap hit in 2015.
As for the Cowboys, they are now in the hunt to find Murray's replacement.
The 27-year-old Murray has amassed 4,526 yards and 28 touchdowns on 934 carries in 53 career regular-season games for the Dallas Cowboys, per ESPN stats.
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