Ex-Titans running back DeMarco Murray was recently released by the Titans, and he is set to hit free agency. The 30-year-old still has some engine left in him, and Gang Green could look into him.
Maccagnan likes the veteran backs. In 2016, he signed Matt Forte to a two-year deal rather than utilizing the draft, despite his age. Also, when looking back through Maccagnan’s career, he was a head scout for the Texans from 2011-2014. How many running backs did the Texans draft during that period? Zero. So although many fans are psyched for the stacked group of running backs in this draft class, a name other than Saquon Barkley may very well not fall on his board.
The Jets are looking for another back to group up with Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire, according to numerous reports. Murray could be the perfect guy to take the reigns of the backfield. His big-play ability and strong, powerful style of running could match with Powell’s elusive style to make a nasty combo. McGuire would likely remain mostly a feature back in this scenario, barring an unexpected performance.
I spoke to a Jets coach in Indy just after Matt Forte announced his retirement. I was given the impression that Bilal Powell will NOT be asked to handle a larger role going forward. Instead the coach said the team will add an impact RB to the mix.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) March 5, 2018
With a rookie quarterback likely leading the charge next season (barring a miracle with Kirk Cousins), a veteran back to have by your side can’t hurt. Look at Jared Goff, for example. Although he isn’t a veteran, having Todd Gurley by his side completely shook the development process. In 2016, Gurley has an off year and Goff plays horrendous. In 2017, Gurley clicks and Goff explodes. An X-factor by your side is a gamechanger at quarterback, and Murray fills that role.
Murray can break out a big play whenever and wherever. His speed combined with his power is bad news for any defense. Once he gets to the second level, watch out. In 2016, he averaged an impressive 4.4 yards per carry. He posted 1,287 yards along with 377 receiving yards. Derrick Henry took over the lead back role in 2017, which ultimately led to a relatively quiet campaign for Murray.
A comparison for DeMarco Murray would be Thomas Jones. The two both have top end speed along with enough agility and strength to get around tackles. Jones thrived in the Jets system, and in all honesty, it hasn’t changed much. With a revamped offensive line, why can’t Murray thrive the way Jones did?
Fans may not like this idea, but it is a legitimate possibility. We’ve seen Mac lean away from younger backs in the past, and they are looking for a back to partner with Powell. Throw a veteran back in a rookie quarterbacks backfield, and it helps out the rook. Don’t be shocked to see the Jets make a run at Murray come March 14th.