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The Jacksonville Jaguars have a ton of cap space this offseason, which means they should be big time players in free agency. The offensive side of the ball in particular is in desperate need of veterans to bring experience to what was the youngest group in the NFL in 2014 by a wide margin.
While the Jaguars will likely miss out on a premium free agent like Devin McCourty due to the franchise tag, a guy who almost certainly will hit the open market in free agency is Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray.
Murray had a career year in 2014, leading the NFL in rushing with 1,845 yards, culminating with the prestigious offensive player of the year award. Maligned by injuries in his first few years, Murray managed to stay healthy through basically all of 2014, and he was the driving force behind one of the most efficient offenses in the NFL.
Unfortunately, Murray is falling victim to a couple of variables detracting from his value as a free agent – the devaluing of the running back position, and the impending free agency of Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. The Cowboys are almost certainly going to take Dez over DeMarco, and in a vacuum it appears they wouldn’t have offered him a big contract anyway.
With the most productive running back in the league likely available, Nick Ziegler over at NFL Spin Zone thinks the Jaguars should take a look.
"Jacksonville needs to surround their young QB Blake Bortles with some talent, and Murray would give the Jaguars a reliable running-game, and also a great safety valve for Bortles out of the backfield, which can be a young quarterback’s best friend. In order to convince Murray to come to Jacksonville the Jaguars will likely have to overpay for his services."
The last sentence is why the Jaguars will absolutely not even consider signing Murray. The Jaguars spent in free agency last year to bring in Toby Gerhart, and, while he was ineffective most of the season due to injury, he and Denard Robinson comprise a fairly intriguing backfield. Murray had a historically high amount of touches last season, and his high-volume nature doesn’t make sense for a team that probably isn’t a Super Bowl contender in 2015. Murray makes a lot more sense on a team like the Colts that desperately needs an effective runner and is ready to compete with a Pro Bowl quarterback right now.