Closing the book on DeMarco Murray, one of the worst free agent signings in NFL history

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With DeMarco Murray’s year in Philadelphia officially over — he was shipped to the Titans as part of an early week trade that netted the Eaglesa fourth-round pick swap and salary relief — it’s now safe to say it was one of the worst investments in the history of football.

Sure, he was coming off of a prolific season with the Cowboys as the NFL’s leading rusher, but his signing with the Eagles for an astronomical five year, $40 million deal seems like it was very short-sighted.

Chip Kelly made the ultimate decision to sign the big running back, parlayed him with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles, and then abused him on the football field. The fault for the failed experiment is not completelyon Murray’s shoulders, as he was put in a can’t-win situation.

Murray eclipsed 20 rushes three times all season and eclipsed the 100-yard mark just once. The combination of the environment in the Philadelphia locker room, Kelly’s scheme and decision to rely on the other running backs made Murray exceedingly unhappy.

Murray had 3.6 yards per carry for the Eagles after averaging 4.7 in nearly twice as many carries in 2014 (when he ran for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns).

Lets break down the Murray-related moves. LeSean McCoy was traded to the Bills for Kiko Alonso and cap space. Murray was signed for $40 million. Murray was traded away for a fourth-round pick swap and $4 million. Alonso was traded away (along with another terrible free agent signee, Byron Maxwell) for a first-round pick swap.

In all, the Eagles set back their franchise and it was due to their inability (or Kelly’s at least) to really plan ahead and make cohesive, team-oriented decisions.

And now, with slightly better draft position and cap space the Eagles would have had anyway, Philly is in need of another franchise running back.

Murray is now in Tennessee with a change of scenery and has a good chance to bounce back. But this mess does raise the inescapable observation:that was a waste of time wasn’t it?

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