The Philadelphia Eagles signed running back Ryan Mathews and shortly after, they also added the league's leading rusher from last season, DeMarco Murray. When it was reported earlier in the week that Mathews had agreed to a three-year, $11.5 million deal with the Eagles, many suspected this meant that Murray wouldn't be defecting from one NFC East team to another. But Murray and the Eagles agreed to a five-year, $42 million deal that included $21 million guaranteed.
That creates a 1-2 punch of Murray and Mathews, two very talented running backs who can definitely help each other out in different ways.
Murray said that despite more lucrative offers from other teams, he wanted to sign with Philadelphia.
"I felt that this was a great opportunity for me to win a Super Bowl," Murray said. "It wasn't about the financial security or anything like that.
"I think the Eagles have a great chance to win a Super Bowl."
Calling it a "running back's dream" to play in Chip Kelly's offense, Mathews said he didn't have any second thoughts about signing with Philadelphia after the team reached a deal with Murray. In fact, Mathews said he was looking forward to sharing the backfield with Murray.
Mathews has had durability concerns in recent seasons and can't survive life in the NFL as a starter, but has put up strong impressive numbers when healthy. Murray led the NFL in rushing yardage a season ago and has put together two impressive seasons, but also carried the ball a total of 392 times last season.
Addressing Murray's high carry count at a Thursday press conference, Kelly said that the Eagles don't have to give Murray as many carries as he had with Dallas. Kelly noted that the plan was always to get two running backs on the open market, after the trade of running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.
"The three best guys we thought were [Frank Gore], DeMarco and Ryan," Kelly said, "We went into [free agency] with an idea that if we lose LeSean, we get two guys."
The Eagles also have Darren Sproles and Chris Polk on the roster, and there are key difference between those backs, dispelling the notion that Kelly has a particular back for his style of offense. Kelly noted at Murray's press conference that he's "had all different types of backs" in his offenses over the years.
As for Murray, he said he'd welcome a breather every once in a while for the other backs to carry the ball. "I'm excited ... to work with those guys and it's going to be a bright future."
Murray ran for 1,845 yards with 13 touchdowns and added another 416 yards in receptions with the Dallas Cowboys last season. That's incredible production, but an awful lot of touches -- 449 in all. Mathews managed 1,255 yards and six touchdowns with the San Diego Chargers in 2013, but only totaled 330 yards and three touchdowns in six games last season.