4. The Eagles say goodbye to “Shady” and replace him with a broken-down DeMarco Murray.
Technically the DeMarco Murray signing wasn’t Howie Roseman’s doing. He was buried in the Eagles equipment room by 2015, the final year in a brief Chip Kelly era, leaving Kelly to form the team through his design with no supervision.
In a tumultuous offseason, in which Kelly traded away LeSean McCoy to Buffalo, and the “Birds” signed former San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews on a three-year deal. They weren’t satisfied though, and in a corresponding move, Kelly added Murray from the rival Dallas Cowboys following the best season of Murray’s career, on where he led the league in rushing yards and earned his first All-Pro nod. The deal was for five years and was supposed to pay him $42 million.
The reaction was mixed, but any existing excitement left quickly once the regular season got going. In his Eagles debut, a loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Monday Night Football, Murray accrued nine total yards on eight carries, and most of that came on an eight-yard touchdown run. In his second game, a loss against Dallas, Murray wasn’t much better, earning just two yards on 13 total touches. In total, Murray only managed 21 total yards in his first two games in Philadelphia.
Murray’s 2015 season improved modestly from the low point of the first two games, but he never became what fans had hoped. That didn’t come as a surprise to much of the fan base who already knew he was overworked in Dallas and that Kelly would mismanage him.
His yards-per-carry average fell off a cliff from his days as a Cowboy as he compiled an average of 3.6 yards per rush in 2015 compared to his 4.7 yards-per-carry average in 2014, and 5.2 yards-per-carry average in 2013. Roseman, once he was reinstated to power, made packaging Murray and shipping him off in a trade to the Tennessee Titans one of his first orders of business.