DeMarco Murray is not the same player who rushed for over 1,800 yards in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys. He might not even be up to the caliber of the guy who gained almost 1,300 yards for the Tennessee Titans in 2016.
But at age 30, Murray is not done. There’s still gas in the tank and the tread on those tires is not completely worn. He may not be an every-down back, but he can be more than serviceable as a backup, or a starter, if needed.
Yet, the three-time Pro Bowler remains without a team for the upcoming season. It shouldn’t stay that way when training camps open in July, so here’s a look at three teams who should invest in Murray’s services.
Frank Gore is now in Miami, so for the moment second-year back Marlon Mack owns the No. 1 job. Mack averaged 3.8 yards on his 93 carries and rushed for three touchdowns as a rookie, so it's not like he's going in cold.
However, if Andrew Luck returns on time and stays healthy, he will need better protection, especially from his backs as blockers. Murray is considered one of the better pass-blocking backs in the game, so that would be something Colts' fans can get behind.
Murray, also, would not have to start in Indianapolis. Mack should still get his shot. But Murray is a nice insurance policy and adds a more successful veteran presence than Seahawks castoffs Christine Michael and Robert Turbin, who along with two draft picks, are behind Mack on the Colts' depth chart.
Hey, LaDainian Tomlinson says the Seahawks should give Murray a shot, and he's not wrong. Though Seattle took San Diego State's Rashaad Penny with the 27th overall pick last month, it can use seasoned depth at the position, like Murray. Mike Davis, Chris Carson, C.J. Prosise and J.D. McKissic are the other running back options, but none will rattle any defenses.
As with the Colts, Murray would provide support and could serve as a mentor to whoever the starter will be, especially Penny, who will be the man at some point this season if not in Week 1. Russell Wilson would love a veteran like Murray to lean on if needed, but not depend on.
That's the back Murray is at this stage of his career, and the Seahawks provide a solid option for him to be effective in that role and even prove he can still be a valuable asset.
Green Bay Packers
This might be a reach because the Packers have remained a postseason contender without an above-average running game. That reason is Aaron Rodgers, and he's healthy again. But we know he would like to have a running back he can count on to take the load off.
Now, if the Packers will invest in somebody in the second half of his career remains uncertain, but the option still seems enticing.
Green Bay averaged 107.8 rushing yards last season, which ranked a middling 17th, but not terrible. However, Ty Montgomery is really nothing more than a change-of-pace backfield option who should not be expected to carry the ball 20 times a game. That's what Jamaal Williams and maybe even Aaron Jones are best served for. However, like the backs in Indianapolis and Seattle, they won't strike fear on opposing defenses.
The Packers also have not been fortunate when it comes to the health of their running backs of late. Last season, Montgomery played just eight games while Jones made it through 12. That left Williams, who gained a team-high 556 yards, to handle a good chunk of the load when he wasn't expected to do much of anything as a rookie.
If the Packers don't expect much from Murray, then he might fit in nicely.
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