DeMarco Murray got the money he wanted from his former team’s biggest rival.
Two people familiar with the deal said All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray agreed Thursday to a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both sources spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Murray hadn’t officially signed the contract. Wearing a gray suit, white shirt and black tie, Murray arrived at team headquarters with his fiancee, Heidi Mueller, on Thursday afternoon.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Murray helped the Cowboys win the NFC East title last season while rushing for a franchise-record 1,845 yards. He broke the Dallas record held by NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith and also set a league mark with eight straight 100-yard games to start the season.
Cowboys star receiver Dez Bryant tweeted: “@DeMarcoMurray I wish you would have stayed but I understand your decision… Congrats bro you deserve it -“
Murray will replace two-time All-Pro LeSean McCoy, the NFL’s rushing leader in 2013. Coach Chip Kelly traded McCoy to Buffalo last week in a flurry of stunning moves.
The Eagles swapped quarterbacks with St. Louis on Tuesday, sending Nick Foles to the Rams for Sam Bradford. They also let Pro Bowl wide receiver Jeremy Maclin sign a free-agent deal with Kansas City.
The Eagles appeared to replace McCoy with Frank Gore, but he backed out of a deal and signed with Indianapolis. They agreed to a three-year contract with running back Ryan Mathews on Wednesday, according to two people with knowledge of the deal. But Mathews was in town for a physical Thursday morning and hasn’t signed the contract yet.
Murray played with Bradford at Oklahoma. Bradford told reporters at his introductory news conference that he lobbied his former teammate to join him in Philly.
“I called him. I’ve texted him. I’ve done everything,” Bradford said. “We’ve been in communication and I think if we could somehow land DeMarco, it would be a great pickup.
“Not only is he a great player, but he’s a great person. He’s a really great friend of mine, too. I really think that he could help this ballclub.”
The 27-year-old Murray turned down a four-year, $16 million offer from the Cowboys last fall and went on to become the AP Offensive Player of the Year. He played 16 games for the first time in 2014 after missing games with injuries in each of his first three years.
Murray played the final four games last season, including the playoffs, after breaking his left hand in a win at Philadelphia. He tied Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch for the NFL lead with 13 touchdowns rushing. Murray has been to the Pro Bowl the last two seasons. He had 1,121 yards rushing and nine TDs in 14 games in 2013.
Since taking control of personnel moves away from former general manager Howie Roseman, Kelly has played fantasy football with the Eagles, making several bold moves to reshape the roster to try to add players to fit his scheme and desired culture in the locker room. The Eagles have finished 10-6 in each of Kelly’s first two NFL seasons.
Kelly got linebacker Kiko Alonso from Buffalo for McCoy, signed free-agent cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Walter Thurmond III and released offensive lineman Todd Herremans, cornerback Cary Williams, linebacker Trent Cole and tight end James Casey.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
AP Sports writer Schuyler Dixon contributed to this report.
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This article was written by Rob Maaddi from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.