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Why are the Philadelphia Eagles trying to sign DeMarco Murray?

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When something seems to good to be true, it usually is.

That's the immediate reaction when ESPN reported that 'sources' close to DeMarco Murray claimed that the 2014 NFL rushing champion reached out to Chip Kelly to discuss a deal.

Now the deal is done. But why should the Eagles even consider Murray? Is it the home run signing many in Philly would have you believe?

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First of all, the Eagles just shed LeSean McCoy's $12m cap hit for more flexibility. Kelly's confidence in his offensive system has allowed him to shift financial resources from offense to defense.

It's a dangerous strategy, but the Eagles are banking on Kelly's genius in the playbook to replace the stars lost in free agency.

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To then go and spend big money on presumably the league's most expensive free agent running back (Murray is reportedly getting $42m over five years with $21 guaranteed) makes little sense.

And then you've got to consider that the Eagles just clinched a deal to bring Ryan Mathews to Philadelphia.

While injury prone, Mathews is a potential stud who, when healthy, has rushed at an average of 4.4 yards per carry and is a dual threat in the passing game.

His 2013 campaign was his best, and healthiest, season when he finished with 1,255 yards. For just $5m in guaranteed money the Eagles have a running back with breakout potential, a former top 15 overall selection, and one for the fraction of the cost of McCoy and Murray.

If Cowboys fans believe their front five can make any RB famous, then the same is true for the Eagles, who boasted the best O-Line in football in 2013 before injury ravaged the depth chart last season.

Murray is a better fit for Kelly's offense than McCoy, but as Pro Football Reference pointed out earlier today, Murray's 449 touches last year puts him in dangerous territory.

None of the RBs over the age of 25 when they registered such a heavy workload, James Wilder, Larry Johnson, or Eddie George, made another Pro Bowl after they were run into the ground.

That's not to say that Murray will necessarily join them, but it's a cautionary tale. 

Eagles fans should not be blinded by the opportunity to embarrass an NFC East rival. A move for Murray would be headline grabbing, but the back was just as injury prone as Mathews before his first truly healthy campaign in 2014.

Do you know who is durable though? LeSean McCoy.

Considering their respective salaries, is Murray really the ideal acquisition then? Would it not be better to spend the cap money elsewhere, how about at wide receiver where the roster has been stripped of talent with the departure of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin in recent seasons.

It was reported that Murray may have been simply using interest from Philadelphia as a negotiating tactic with the Cowboys.

That turned out not to be the case, as the Cowboys only offered $12m guaranteed in a four-year $24m deal. They stuck to their guns, despite unbelievable pressure.

It had been reported all offseason that a return to Dallas was his number one option, and Adam Schefter yesterday said that Murray remained open to one final offer from Jerry Jones.

If everybody's honest, it was clear that basically no one had a clue what's going on, in Philadelphia in general and with this Murray deal specifically.

Conflicting reports had claimed the Mathews deal off, that Chip Kelly wanted both Mathews and Murray, and that Oakland remained in play for either all through the day.

And how long does it take for Murray to get to Philly anyway? The Twitter jokes started early...

It's the blind leading the blind out there at the moment, but that's why free agency is so popular and Schefter has so many Twitter followers.

The Eagles now have a new franchise back just days after most experts agreed they'd done the right thing by jettisoning an expensive RB 1.

It doesn't make much sense, but then taken in the context of Philadelphia's offseason so far, that's pretty much par for the course.

What do you think Eagles' fans? Do you want DeMarco Murray in the team's backfield next season?

Yes or no, have your say below!

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Topics:
Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles
NFL

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