DeMarco Murray is raising the stakes in his game of contract chicken with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
The free-agent running back is visiting the division-rival Eagles on Thursday, reports NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, per a source informed of Murray’s plans.
It’s confirmation that Chip Kelly’s squad is serious about adding Murray despite signing early-down hammer Ryan Mathews on Wednesday.
To this point, per Rapoport, the Raiders have made the highest offer. The obstacle for Murray signing with the Eagles still would be money, a source said, as Kelly has made it publicly and privately clear the team will be financially prudent in their personnel decisions.
During his discussion with Kelly, a source said Murray characterized Bradford, who was acquired by the Eagles from the Rams on Tuesday, as one of his best friends. Both operated successfully out of Oklahoma’s spread offense when they were teammates from 2007-09. Murray also played the 2010 season at Oklahoma after Bradford moved on to the NFL.
The Eagles already made a splash with their running game by trading LeSean McCoy to Buffalo before signing former Chargers running back Ryan Mathews to a three-year contract worth a reported $11.5 million with $5 million guaranteed. They also have Darren Sproles and Chris Polk on their roster.
But Murray is the NFL’s reigning rushing leader, as he set the Cowboys’ single-season rushing record last season with 1,845 yards. He also had more than 400 carries, counting the playoffs, which could have deterred some teams from pursuing him.
The Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders have also been linked to Murray. New Raiders linebacker Curtis Lofton, like Bradford, has attempted to recruit his former college teammate.
If Murray does decide to leave, the Cowboys won’t be in terrible shape considering the draft is deep with running backs and free agents such as C.J. Spiller remain on the market.