DeMarco Murray has decided to retire, but it’s worth wondering how long it will last.
Just this week DeMarco Murray said he has spoken to four or five teams, while conveying his hopes to sign with an NFL team before training camps start in earnest around the league. But he shifted course on Friday, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting Murray would announce his retirement during NFL Live.
Murray spent the last two seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He had a 1,200-yard campaign in 2016 as the lead back, before a more even workload split with Derrick Henry last year and being released early this offseason.
A few teams have had interest in him, but Murray reportedly turned down a tryout with the Saints in June under the idea of waiting for the right opportunity. There’s not going to be a significant market for a 30-year old running back who averaged 3.6 yards per carry last year, plain and simple, so Murray seems to channeling a little of Adrian Peterson in an overestimation of his abilities.
Murray has a league rushing title on his resume, with 1,845 yards for the Dallas Cowboys in 2014. But the Cowboys also ran him into the ground, with 392 carries (tied for seventh-most in league history) and 449 touches in his walk year before he signed an ill-advised free agent deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Murray was a poor fit for head coach Chip Kelly’s offense, to say the least.
Murray was never the same after that 2014 season with the Cowboys. Even his 2016 resurgence for the Titans was mostly volume-driven, with 293 carries (tied third-most in the league) to go with a bounce back over four yards per carry (4.4).
The irony of Murray’s sudden shift toward retirement was not lost on at least notable NFL reporter/opinion giver.
The identities of the four or five teams Murray has talked to are unknown, but the Dolphins, Seahawks, Lions and Saints had some level of reported interest dating back to right after his release. Their technical inclusion by Murray on Schefter’s Monday podcast serves as an effort to convey he’s in-demand right now.
The Buffalo Bills probably haven’t had any interest in Murray. But if LeSean McCoy’s situation takes a turn for the worse, they will be in the market for a running back. Then we’ll see if Murray is truly retired, due to the Bills’ lack of interest or his unwillingness to sign with them.