Running back Ryan Mathews signed a three-year, $11.5 million contract with the Eagles, knowing full well that DeMarco Murray was lurking elsewhere in the practice facility, hammering out the details of his reported five-year, $42 million contract, with $21 million guaranteed.
When Mathews stepped to the lectern in the NovaCare auditorium, It was hard to avoid the thought that the warmup act had taken the stage.
"It didn't deter me at all," Mathews said, after explaining that he'd had some idea the Birds were pursuing Murray before he arrived to sign his deal.
Asked if he'd thought he was coming to be the featured back, with LeSean McCoy traded to Buffalo, Mathews said: "That was never brought up" in contract discussions. "It was more about the team" and Eagles coach Chip Kelly's system, Mathews said.
"Being able to play with a guy like that, it'd be great," said Mathews, who joins a backfield that also includes Darren Sproles and restricted free agent Chris Polk. "I wouldn't shy away from that at all."
Mathews said he spoke to Murray at NovaCare, but "he was going this way, I was going that way. We'll catch up."