Oakland Raiders Likely to Lose Out On DeMarco Murray to Eagles
By Chase Ruttig
Offering DeMarco Murray the most money according to reports on Wednesday night, the Oakland Raiders could be looking at a second straight season of losing one of their top big name free agent targets to the player leaving to a rival in the NFC West as the Cowboys running back is set to visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday afternoon. A storyline similar to the 2014 offseason when Desean Jackson visited Washington over Oakland before getting back at the Eagles by signing a deal with the division rivals.
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The race for Murray is currently between three teams in Oakland, Dallas and the Eagles with Philly now having the upper hand in the situation as they will be visiting with the running back who could likely make his way to the team should the money be right during talks when the two sides are in person. Having the opportunity to pitch to Murray the chances to get back at the Cowboys while playing in an offense that will continue his production from the 2014 season likely an easy sell if the team is willing to pay close to the price that Oakland is offering as the highest bidder for the running back.
Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that Murray will be Philly with the intention of signing a contract today. Continuing the soap opera that has unfolded on Twitter and on ESPN/NFL Network over the past 72 hours with Murray’s agents trying to squeeze out every last possible dollar to get their client onto a contender at a high salary or to go to Oakland if the NFC East teams aren’t going to put up the contract that they desire.
From the looks of the reports this morning it appears that once again the Raiders will not be able to make a top name in free agency come to Oakland over other options. Offering the most money not earning a visit from Murray absolves general manager Reggie McKenzie from not making a full effort to bring in the running back, but it is a disappointment nonetheless to see a heavily pursued target of the team choose a division rival of his current team over the Raiders yet again.
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After Desean Jackson took a similar path in 2014 the trend is likely to continue with Murray here as the option to take on the Cowboys twice a season while still playing for a hopeful contender in the NFC is too enticing to pass up by the looks of things. Moving into Chip Kelly’s offense with Darren Sproles, Murray could also stay productive while reducing his workload, something that would be a big selling point as well for the back should he sign with the Eagles as is expected by Schefter among others.
For the Raiders there is nothing that the front office can do now regarding Murray but wait it out and hope that the Eagles pass on the running back while the Cowboys continue to refuse to up their offer. The third choice with the most money offered, Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders just need a visit to sell the running back on what is going on in Oakland. From the looks of things that may not happen as Murray is unlikely to leave Philly without a deal from the Eagles or a matched offer from the Cowboys as the free agency saga surrounding the talented rusher is set to reach its climax on Thursday afternoon.
Next: Why the Oakland Raiders Should Not Sign DeMarco Murray