A few days after a report emerged about DeMarco Murray expressing frustation to Eagles CEO and Chairman Jeffrey Lurie, Murray finally faced the media on Thursday. While Murray did confirm a meeting happened, he chose not to reveal the details of the conversation. Murray denied being upset about only playing 14 snaps in Philadelphia's victory over the New England Patriots. Via Adam Hermann of Birds 24/7:
"I wouldn't say I was disappointed. Obviously, we won the game, so I was happy for that," Murray said. "But I think every player wants the opportunity to contribute to the team, and especially me as a competitor, I want to have a chance to go out there and work out, and do what I can to help this team. It was a little different, but we won the game, and that was the biggest thing.
"Things were working in the game, with [Sproles] and [Barner], and the match-ups with the linebackers we saw in the Denver game, prior to that game. I think they gave us a good chance to win the game, and everything was working. You had two special teams touchdowns, an interception, and you don't get quite as many plays as you usually do. I thought the game plan was good going in, and like I said, you've just got to continue pounding away and keep grinding."
Murray is publicly saying the right things by putting the team above himself. Still, there are rumors that Murray could be trying to force his way out of Philadelphia and back to the Dallas Cowboys. If Murray's comments are any indication, those rumors are false.
"Yeah, I'm very happy here," Murray said. "These are my teammates, my guys. I've got a lot of respect for everyone in this locker room, the coaching staff, the ownership. I love it here. [...]
"I made a commitment to [Lurie], and [Kelly], and these guys in the locker room," Murray said. "I love this team, I love playing for this team, and I love the fans. By signing on that dotted line, I knew I was going to be here for a long time, and I'm committed to winning a lot of games. Obviously it's been a tough year for myself and the team so far, but we're still tied for first place in the division, and we've still got a chance to do some special things. I'm committed here for the long run."
Does he want to be here next year?
"100 percent, yes," Murray said emphatically.
Again, Murray is saying all the right things. But one can only wonder what his role will be moving forward. The Eagles' offense is clearly better without Murray on the field. Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, and even Kenjon Barner have been much more efficient runners. It would be a disservice to those players, the team, and the fans if Kelly gives the ineffective Murray a feature role down the stretch. At the same time, it seems unlikely that the $40 million running back will be benched entirely.
Needless to say, it's an interesting dynamic to watch over the final four games remaining this season.