Well, the Philadelphia Eagles betting odds to win the 2015/16 Super Bowl just got a lot better with the signing of DeMarco Murray. After testing the free agent waters, the former Dallas Cowboys running back signed a 5-year, $42 million deal with Philadelphia, with $21 million of this amount being guaranteed.
It’s little surprise to see Murray get major money this season after gaining 1,845 rushing yards last year – a Cowboys’ single-season record. He also added 64 catches for 416 yards and scored 13 touchdowns.
Despite his stellar production, Dallas reportedly only offered in the $6 million range to retain Murray’s services. Like some teams around the league, the Cowboys chose not to pay a premium for a player who, up until this season, had missed time with various injuries.
As Dallas owner Jerry Jones added, the team’s salary cap is an issue here too. Here’s one excerpt from Jones’ farewell statement to his former star running back:
“We are very grateful to DeMarco Murray for his contributions to the Dallas Cowboys. He is a quality person, a very good football player, and a player that we wanted to keep.
We have great appreciation for his skills, and if there was no salary cap in place, DeMarco would be a Cowboy. This came down to an allocation of dollars within the management of the salary cap.
Obviously there is emotion involved in these decisions, but it is critical that there be must be discipline involved as well. If it were a question of having an open checkbook with no salary cap constraints, we all know things would have worked out differently. We have recently made significant commitments to top players who are currently on the team, specifically at key positions such as quarterback, left tackle and wide receiver, and we were comfortable with the offer that we made to DeMarco to include him in that structure.”
It’s interesting that Murray is going to the Eagles, given that their star back, LeSean McCoy, will now be suiting up for the Buffalo Bills. McCoy had another strong season for Philadelphia last year with 1,319 rushing yards, however, his receiving yards (155) and yards per carry (4.2) were down significantly in a new role. The hope is that Murray can provide more efficiency and youth (he’s played two less seasons than McCoy) moving forward.
Philadelphia had a very disappointing end to the 2014/15 season. After leading the NFC East most of the year, which included a 5-1 start, they faltered down the stretch and finished 10-6, one game behind the Cowboys. What especially hurt is that they dropped three of their final four contests, including losses to Dallas and Washington, to essentially give away the NFC East crown.
So head coach Chip Kelly has made sure that major changes were instituted. Besides bringing Murray in, they traded McCoy for linebacker Kiko Alonso, and also traded quarterback Nick Foles for Sam Bradford. Some have scrutinized the moves, but it’s clear that Kelly has some kind of vision here.
Now the question is if all of these major moves will pan out. Currently, GTBets.eu has Philly at 25-to-1 odds of winning the Super Bowl, however, these are likely to improve with the addition of Murray.