DEMARCO MURRAY CALLS IT A CAREER
Former Offensive Player of the Year was released by Titans four months ago
The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year says he is retiring, four months after being cut by the Tennessee Titans.
DeMarco Murray is retiring from the NFL.
The 2014 Offensive Player of the Year made the announcement on ESPN on Friday, four months after being released by the Tennessee Titans.
Murray, 30, lost his job to Derrick Henry last season and was due to make $6.25 million in 2018 when the Titans let him go. He ran for 659 yards and six touchdowns last season, dealt with a knee injury late in the year, and missed the Titans’ final regularseason game and two playoff contests.
“I think you just wake up,” Murray said. “I’ve always heard the saying when you know, you know, and one day that day will come, and for me it was the last year or two. … I’ve been constantly thinking about this. Working out still, in great shape, feel great and it’s time.
“I just woke up a couple weeks ago and it started to burn and burn and trigger and it got deeper, so this morning I decided to call it a career.”
The Titans acquired Murray in a March 2016 trade with the Eagles. Murray had spent one year with Philadelphia after playing four seasons with the Cowboys. Murray was playing for Dallas in 2014 when he won the NFL rushing title and Offensive Player of the Year honors.
He was a dominant force that season for the Cowboys, who went 12-4 to win the NFC East. Murray ran for a league-best 1,845 yards, then signed a five-year, $40 million deal as a free agent with Philadelphia in 2015.
With the Eagles, Murray started eight of 15 games played and ran 193 times for a team-best 702 yards.
The Titans couldn’t wait to add Murray as a running threat to help protect quarterback Marcus Mariota. Behind a revamped offensive line, Murray proved very durable, playing through a torn plantar plate in his right foot. Murray led the AFC and was third in the NFL with 1,287 yards rushing on 293 carries. It was second-most carries of his career and his second-best rushing season.
But last year was problematic and ended in injury. And now, without a team or a job, Murray is leaving football.
“I’m very blessed to have had the coaching staff and the players and teammates that I’ve been fortunate to play with the last seven years of my career,” Murray said. “It’s been a long time thinking the last year or two physically, mentally, emotionally. I think it’s time for me to hang it out there. As hard as it is … the fans have been great. I had a lot of great games and a lot of great teammates. It’s bittersweet, but I think for me it’s the right timing for myself and my family moving forward.”
CATCH RULE: Walt Coleman doesn’t see the revamped catch rule as a big change for NFL game officials because the veteran referee believes they’ve already been calling catches the new way.
If anything, Coleman figures there will be fewer reviews of their rulings.
“Most of the calls that seemed to create the most controversy, we ruled them correctly and then they were overturned on replay,” Coleman said Friday as officials gathered for their annual preseason meeting in the Dallas area. “From our standpoint, we’re just going to continue to officiate the plays like we have.”
League owners unanimously approved the changes in April — more than three years after Dez Bryant’s infamous catch that wasn’t in Dallas’ playoff loss at Green Bay, and just a few months since Pittsburgh’s Jesse James had a late go-ahead touchdown taken away in a loss to New England that damaged the Steelers’ hopes for the AFC’s top seed.
Essentially, the new rule eliminates the ground as a factor on catches while establishing three main criteria: —having control of the ball; —getting two feet down or another body part;
—making a football move, such as taking a third step or extending the ball.
On the plays involving Bryant and James, the ball moved slightly after hitting the ground as they extended it forward, even though they never lost control of it. Both were ruled catches and overturned on review.
Running back DeMarco Murray (29), shown diving for a touchdown in 2016, announced his retirement Friday.