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Chip lauds Murray's downhill style; 5-year deal is official

A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed an ESPN report that Dallas free agent running back DeMarco Murray is visiting the Eagles Thursday, amid signs that the NFL's 2014 leading rusher is very interested in reuniting with college roommate Sam Bradford.

Sure looks like Eagles-Cowboys games will take on a special flavor this season, with DeMarco Murray signing with the Birds for 5 years and $42 million, including $21 million guaranteed.

In recent years, the Birds have tended to be on the other end of these NFC East jilted loverfests -- Jeremiah Trotter, Donovan McNabb and DeSean Jackson in Washington, Terrell Owens in Dallas. Now we get to be the team with the guy the other city is stirred up about. Dallas reporters at NovaCare the week before the game! Maybe Ed Werder and SalPal, shoulder to shoulder, sharing a mic, gesticulating wildly! It should be fun.

Announcing the signing, Eagles coach Chip Kelly said he thinks Murray fits his offense well. Concerns about overuse should be abated by the fact that the Eagles also have Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk to carry the ball, Kelly said.

Murray apologized for hurting the feelings of Dallas fans who are burning his jersey.

Kelly said when free agency began, he thought Murray would be out of the Eagles' price range, but he called the Dallas star after getting turned down by FRank Gore, sho had initially agreed to a deal. Kelly said a report that Murray called him was not true.

Murray was the roommate of new Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, at Oklahoma, and Bradford said he's been lobbying Murray.

"I've been trying my hardest," Bradford said yesterday, during his introductory press conference. "I called him. I've texted him. I've done everything … Not only is he a great player, he's a great person. He's a close friend of mine. I really think he can help this ballclub."

Murray, 27, rushed an amazing 392 times last season, for 1,845 yards. The Eagles were the only NFC East team that held him under 100 yards.

The Eagles parted with a premier back last week in LeSean McCoy and were thought to be looking toward more of a running-back-by-committee approach. But Murray's price tag was probably a little lower than projected when free agency began; the market for him did not seem robust, perhaps because of fears of overuse last season, and his injury history.