- He is a running back who just turned 30 years old a month ago who has a track record of success on the football field. He is a 3-time pro bowl player (his last appearance being in 2016) who has had multiple 1,000- yard seasons.
- He is someone Miami doesn’t have to worry about as a pass blocker. The risk when depending on a rookie running back should Miami draft one is that they may be able to play right away but they may not be able to play on 3rd down right away. The most challenging thing for a rookie running back to adjust to in the NFL is adjusting to their responsibility in the pass blocking aspect of the game. With Murray you will not have to worry about that.
- He is a dual threat and has good hands and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. We have all read and heard for years how Adam Gase likes running backs with soft hands who can catch the ball. Murray has multiple seasons where he catches about 40-60 passes regularly.
- Jim Wyatt who has covered the Titans since 1999 said recently that Murray is a leader. He is someone who when he arrived at the Titans helped immediately “change the culture” (where have we heard that phrase before) of the Titans locker-room. With what Miami has publicly stated this offseason about the “culture change” the signing of Murray may be more than what he can give you on the football field.In his two seasons with the @Titans, @DeMarcoMurray helped change the culture in the locker room at Saint Thomas Sports Park. He held teammates accountable, and showed leadership and professionalism with his work ethic and approach. https://t.co/NoY7487Vp3 pic.twitter.com/7apuqRNhOL— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) March 8, 2018
- He is now 30 years old and will start to be on the downside of his career. We see in this league running backs do start to slow down after they hit that magical number of 30 years of age. And Murray is someone who has been a work horse consistently since 2012. How much tread is left on that tire? We don’t know.
- Is this signing like the Arian Foster signing a couple years back? Is Miami signing a running back who is coming off his worse year as a pro and who’s best days are behind him?
- Speaking of worse year in 2017 Murray did not have a great season by any stretch last year. Yes, he was asked to split time with Derrick Henry so his work load was cut in half. Still though, 3.6 YPC and only 659 yards also a career low. In this league you are only as good as your last season and nobody cares what you did two or three years ago. The word out of Tennessee was last year Murray lost the ability to make defenders to miss in the hole.
- While he doesn’t miss games he always seems to have a nagging injury. He get’s credit for showing up and playing each week but throughout his career he is pretty much always on the injury report with “something.” He never seems to be fully healthy and now as he is entering his 30’s you would think this might be an issue that only gets worse.
There is a lot to think about here with the possibility of Miami signing DeMarco Murray and you can make a case either way for it. Obviously, money will play a factor here as I don’t think Miami wants to break the bank on a player who will at best split time in the backfield with Kenyan Drake. If Miami can get Murray on a short team friendly deal, then it does make sense to maybe give it a shot with him. Have all the guaranteed money or a clear majority of it be in year 1 so the team can move on from him after just one season should the cons I listed with Murray rear its ugly head.
Also, the signing of Murray doesn’t prevent Miami from drafting a running back in next months draft. What it does do is maybe let Miami not feel like they must draft a running back in the early rounds though. With Drake and Murray Miami could then focus their early round picks on other pressing needs like linebacker, tight end, quarterback. And then take a flyer on a late round running back as someone who they won’t necessarily need to contribute a lot in year one.
I know some fans love the fact Miami is in play for Murray and others don’t love the idea so much. I am a bit on the fence honestly at this point. If Miami can get Murray at the right price and for a team friendly deal I am for it. As I think having a proven vet like Murray around Drake can only help Drake and his progression of an NFL player. And I think Murray probably has 1 or 2 years left where he can contribute on the field and help a team win games.
So, if the money is right and as a short-term fix I would have no issue with the Dolphins signing DeMarco Murray.