NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have agreed to acquire DeMarco Murray in a trade with Philadelphia in looking for the running back threat they’ve lacked since releasing Chris Johnson, according to a person familiar with the deal.
Murray also agreed to rework the five-year, $40 million contract with $21 million guaranteed he signed with Philadelphia last year, the person told The Associated Press on Monday night. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal will not be announced until Wednesday.
ESPN first reported the trade.
Other terms of the deal were not immediately available. The Titans hold the No. 1 pick in the April draft and have eight draft picks — three in the top 64 selections.
Murray led the NFL in rushing for 1,845 yards with 13 touchdowns in Dallas in 2014 and was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. But he was considered a bust in coach Chip Kelly’s offense, running for only 702 yards with the Eagles last season when forced to run out of the shotgun formation instead of deeper in the backfield. Murray did run for 112 yards Oct. 19 against the Giants.
Kelly was fired before the final game of the season, and Murray’s longest run of the season came on his first carry of that game, a 54-yard scamper for a touchdown with the quarterback under center and Murray lined up several yards behind him. The Eagles hired Doug Pederson in January, but hadn’t been expected to trade Murray if only to avoid a $13 million salary cap hit.
This will be the first big move by new Titans general manager Jon Robinson, who was hired in January to turn around a franchise that has gone 5-27 since releasing Johnson in April 2014 to avoid the final three seasons of a $53.5 million deal. Johnson was the last running back to run for 100 yards in a game for Tennessee, a drought that stretches back to December 2013.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota ran for 112 yards on Dec. 6 in a win over Jacksonville, but that number was boosted by an 87-yard touchdown run. The Titans ranked 25th in the NFL last season, averaging 92.8 yards rushing per game, and new coach Mike Mularkey has talked about running the ball much more next season.
The six-year veteran has run for 5,228 yards and 34 touchdowns in his career, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. He also has 215 receptions for 1,522 yards. Adding Murray also brings some much-needed experience to the Titans’ offense, which had rookies take 25.8 percent of the snaps last season.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.