Colts Reportedly Potential Suitor for DeMarco Murray
According to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, the Indianapolis Colts are one of four top potential suitors for Dallas Cowboys free agent running back DeMarco Murray:
"1. Indianapolis Colts: General manager Ryan Grigson has $40 million to spend and a need at running back after swinging and missing on Trent Richardson. They are a lock to add a running back this offseason."
Of course, it doesn’t seem like anything is actually imminent between the two sides. Moreso, armed with ample cap space, the Colts are one of the teams in most need of a running back, and Murray happens to fit that positional title.
Jan 4, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) celebrates his touchdown run during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions in the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
At age 27, Murray is coming off a historically great season with the Dallas Cowboys, in which he rushed for 1,845 rushing yards on 392 carries, as well as 13 touchdowns. As the NFL’s rushing leader in 2014, Murray figures to cash-in on a lucrative long-term contract this offseason.
While the heavy usage is alarming last season, Murray was highly productive, rushing for an exceptional 4.7 yards per carry average. There is some buyer beware though, as most running backs don’t have a shelf-life past 30 years old, and Murray is quickly approaching that age with some nagging injuries in his past. Still, according to ProFootballFocus (subscription), Murray graded out as the league’s 5th best running back with a +15.2 overall grade and remains one of the best running backs in the business.
Unless Murray comes at a discounted price; however, it doesn’t make sense for the Colts to pay a premium and effectively make him one of the highest paid running backs in the game. There is no question that Murray is currently an elite running back, but the Colts don’t have the powerful run blocking line of the Dallas Cowboys. Short of the Colts also signing All-Pro guard Mike Iupati, and Murray’s big holes in Indianapolis would be much fewer and farther in between.
Given the likely exorbitant price, the team would be better off signing the San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore on a cheaper contract or drafting a young running back early in this year’s NFL Draft, if not both. To me, it makes little sense to pay Murray for his past production, coming off a historically great season with the Cowboys, when he would not achieve nearly the same type of success running behind a far inferior Colts run blocking offensive line.
Dec 21, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) carries the ball in the second quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports