Free agency will begin today (Tuesday, March 10) at 4 PM EST. The legal tampering period, though, has been going on for the last three days. We've heard that many players have reached deals that will be formalized right after free agency begins, and other players that have been in negotiations with teams. Curiously, we really haven't heard that much about DeMarco Murray. There was one report that the Jaguars might pursue him, but nothing solid has come from that yet.
Turns out the Cowboys have been one team talking to Murray. The two sides talked last night and will talk again today.
The Cowboys have been in contact with DeMarco Murray’s agent within the last 12 hours and intend to speak to him again today. A source with knowledge of the negotiations said that Stephen Jones, the club’s chief operating officer, spoke with Bill Johnson Monday evening.
So they are talking, but is there any movement on a contract? It doesn't sound like it from the reports. It seems that Murray and his agent are asking for a lot of money, perhaps seeing what LeSean McCoy got from Buffalo, and the Cowboys and other teams are not willing to match the numbers that McCoy got. Many people have referenced this article at the Dallas Morning News that quotes Bill Polian.
"Here's the deal with DeMarco Murray, his asking price at this point is too high," Six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian said Monday on ESPN. "The agents are saying, ‘Pay me or I'm going out on the market.' Everybody that they've talked to has said, ‘Go ahead. We're not willing to reach your number now.' When his number comes down into the seven, perhaps even $8 million range, if the structure is OK, he will get a job. He's a very good player. They just out-priced the market."
The Cowboys are not willing to give Murray the contract that McCoy got. The Dallas Morning News article also states their educated guess as to what the Cowboys would be willing to give Murray. They suggest a top-end of four years and $28 - $30 million. But everybody suggests the guaranteed money won't rival what McCoy got.
8. Running back DeMarco Murray -- Murray amassed 436 rushing attempts in Dallas last year, and 497 touches overall. His slowdown over the course of the season was evident both in the box score on tape, as Murray's burst was lacking down the stretch and he managed a 3.93 YPC over the final five games after averaging 5.07 in the initial 11. If indications from the weekend's legal tampering period are to be believed, Murray's market value won't be as strong as he hopes. I think he returns to Dallas on a front-loaded deal.
Free Agent Forecast: Cowboys on a four-year, $30 million contract.
Interesting that his numbers match what the DMN project. If no other team comes in with a real hefty bump from those numbers, the Cowboys just might get Murray back for 2015 and beyond.