Eagles Replace McCoy With DeMarco Murray
Chip Kelly is a genius. We just didn’t know it yet. Although only time will tell if that’s truly the case, early signs point to Kelly knowing exactly what he’s doing, especially after the Philadelphia Eagles landed former Dallas Cowboys stud running back, DeMarco Murray.
Murray officially signed on with the Eagles on Thursday afternoon, when he agreed to a five-year pact worth $42 million. Murray received $21 million guaranteed in his new deal and will be reunited with former Oklahoma teammate, Sam Bradford.
Kelly’s roster revolution started last year when he cut star receiver DeSean Jackson, and seemingly easily replaced him with Jeremy Maclin. It continued with the trading of LeSean McCoy, who had a down 2014 season and carried a hefty contract. In a trade with the Bills, Kelly brought in former Oregon linebacker Kiko Alonso. After the Murray signing, Kelly in theory ended up trading an expensive McCoy for Murray and Alonso.
With Murray scheduled to make less than McCoy and count less against this year’s cap, Kelly looks to have done a masterful job keeping the Eagles in playoff contention, while also giving them space to make other moves. The team also had recently upgraded at quarterback (although only arguably) following a swap via trade that sent Nick Foles to St. Louis and netted the Eagles former #1 overall pick, Sam Bradford.
While many have questioned Kelly’s motives and moves in general, it’s been made clear that Kelly desired a reliable north/south runner for his offense, and the dancing McCoy wasn’t necessarily the ideal fit anymore. Murray is, and if he can stay healthy he should be able to team up with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles to give the Eagles a healthy stable of competent running backs.
Murray hypothetically makes up for the loss of McCoy in a number of ways. He’s coming off a career year that saw him carry the Cowboys to the playoffs and lead the league in rushing. He’s also got less mileage than McCoy and will cost less to carry on the roster than McCoy. By making the switch, it also helped the Eagles get stronger on defense, both with the trade for Alonso and the signing of cornerback Byron Maxwell.
The Eagles still need help in their pass rush and lack an impact wide receiver outside of Jordan Matthews, but it appears Chip Kelly knows what he’s doing. And the DeMarco Murray splash signing just might be the beginning of a great 2015 season.
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