SAN FRANCISCO - DeMarco Murray says he wants to stay in Philadelphia. A report on Thursday said otherwise.
The Eagles running back made the Radio Row rounds at Super Bowl 50, and while he declined to talk to Philly-area reporters, he did stop for interviews with almost a dozen outlets, including Pro Football Talk.
Asked about an NFL Network report that he and the Eagles were "headed toward a stare-down regarding his future with the organization," Murray said that he wants to stay in Philadelphia and that he has no plans to leave.
"No. I'm signed there for the next four years. I don't know where that story is coming from," Murray said to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio. "It's a little crazy. Every week I feel like there's something new. It's a little weird. I can't worry about what people are saying. I'll just continue to work hard. I'm signed for four years and I'm committed."
Murray has admitted several times since the season ended that last year was frustrating. But Chip Kelly, who did little to alter his scheme to fit the running back's skill set, is gone. Doug Pederson is the new coach and Murray said during several interviews that he met with him recently and that he's excited to play in a "more conventional" system that will allow him to run downhill.
Still, there are concerns that Murray had as much to do with his 702-yard outing in 2015 as the scheme. He had significantly more touches than any other running back in 2014 when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,845 yards. He looked slower and turns 28 next week.
Money, of course, could be an issue. Murray signed a five-year, $40 million contract last offseason. All of his 2016 salary ($7 million) is guaranteed and he has an $8 million salary cap. If the Eagles were to release him before June 1, they would take a $13 million cap hit.
So Murray isn't likely to be cut. But could he be traded? He would likely have to take a pay cut for that to work. Even so, would any team be willing to take someone who was seemingly unwilling to make things work with the Eagles? Maybe his old team, the Cowboys.
The likelihood is that Murray will stay. The Eagles have Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles still under contract, but neither was as effective on short-yardage plays or catching the ball as Murray. But Murray's 3.6-yard rushing average was the lowest of his career and 0.8 yard less than that of LeSean McCoy - the running back he essentially replaced.
Jenkins in line?
Malcolm Jenkins has watched Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, and Vinny Curry receive long-term contracts from the Eagles over the last few weeks.
The Eagles cornerback, who like Johnson and Ertz has one year left on his contract, said Thursday that he would welcome an extension, too.
"Believe me, I'm waiting. I'm trying to get in line just like everybody else," Jenkins said to SiriusXM Radio. "That's something I can't control. But I'm definitely interested in staying. I want to be in Philly long-term."
Jenkins has one year left on the three-year, $15.5 million contract he signed in the 2014 offseason. He is slated to earn $5 million this season. The 28-year-old safety is coming off arguably the finest season of his career. He made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
Rivera and Reid
Andy Reid has sent Ron Rivera text messages of advice before Rivera's first Super Bowl as head coach.
The most important one, Reid said, was to embrace the 15 minutes before kickoff when you're out on the field during the pre-game pomp.
"They bring you out on that field and they leave you there for about 15 minutes with all the celebrations going on," Reid said Thursday by phone. "Your players come out of the tunnel and they're used to being hyped. And I just said, 'Hey, you have 15 minutes here before [kickoff]. Just take a seat on the bench and relax."
Rivera, who was Reid's linebackers coach from 1999 to 2003, won a Super Bowl with the Bears as a player. He left the Eagles before Reid made it for the first and only time, after the 2004 season. But Rivera, who has been the Panthers' coach since 2011, fondly recalled his time working for Reid and former defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.
"My time in Philly was outstanding. I truly enjoyed it," Rivera said Wednesday. "I thought it was a heck of a community. We lived over in South Jersey, but Philadelphia was tremendous. Being with Andy, you learn about the importance of details, the significance of making sure that you take care of every little detail of what you plan on doing.
"To this day, he's still a mentor, a friend I can call and talk to."