The New Orleans Saints appear to be moving on from Mark Ingram, as they have agreed to a deal with free agent running back Latavius Murray.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Murray will sign a four-year, $14.4 million contract with New Orleans.
Saints are giving former Vikings’ RB Latavius Murray a four-year, $14.4 million deal, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019
The Saints already have Alvin Kamara as their primary back, and Ingram is seeking a lot more than $14 million on the open market. Murray has been an effective power back with the Minnesota Vikings when given opportunities, so Sean Payton likely envisions him playing the same role in New Orleans.
Ingram recently acknowledged that he may not be back with the Saints, and that is probably best for all parties. He’s 29 and wants a chance to be a featured back, which is something he’s not going to get in New Orleans.
Latavius Murray was once again the starting running back for the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday with Dalvin Cook out, and the veteran proved he is still capable of making big plays early on in the game.
Murray helped the Vikings jump out to an early lead with a 21-yard touchdown, and the most impressive part of the run was the vicious stiff-arm he threw on Arizona Cardinals defensive back Antoine Bethea.
Latavius Murray is pillaging the Cardinals defense right now. pic.twitter.com/42Qr1T0LSN
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) October 14, 2018
While nothing will come close to the stiff-arm we saw in the Steelers-Bucs game earlier this season, that was an impressive display of strength from Murray.
Whether it was a matter of players going down with injuries, failing to produce, or teams blowing games, there were plenty of disappointments in Week 14 of the NFL. We saw the Browns do their usual thing, a fight between a player and fans in Jacksonville, and even league officials not protecting a player the way they should have.
Here’s a look at the 15 biggest disappointments from Week 14.
This was it. This was the chance. The Browns were at home and entered the fourth quarter with a 21-7 lead on the Green Bay Packers. Brett Hundley isn’t exactly an outstanding quarterback, and it seemed unlikely that he’d be able to drag the Packers back from two scores down. This is the Browns, though, and with the Browns all things are possible as long as they’re negative things. A game-tying touchdown with 17 seconds left was followed by a horrible DeShone Kizer overtime interception, and that was that. 0-16 seems more likely than ever.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
Carr and the Raiders finally had a chance to make up for most of their tumultuous season. They had the Kansas City Chiefs head-to-head with the opportunity to move ahead of them in the standings — a scenario that seemed impossible even a month ago. The Chiefs’ defense hadn’t been performing well, which should have led to Carr feasting. He didn’t. He was picked off twice while throwing for 211 yards and one touchdown. They didn’t score in the game until garbage time, which was also where he ran up his yardage total. How bad was Carr? He fell on the sword for his performance in this one.
Latavius Murray will finally have a chance to show the Minnesota Vikings what he can do.
Murray was activated from the PUP list and will finally practice with the team, the Vikings announced on Monday.
.@LataviusM has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform List and will practice today.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 7, 2017
Murray was signed during an offseason which saw the Vikings let Adrian Peterson go. The team also drafted Dalvin Cook, who is expected to be the team’s lead running back.
Murray, who signed a three-year, $15 million deal with Minnesota, has been recovering from ankle surgery that kept him out of offseason activities and the beginning of training camp. He has some ground to make up in the team’s running back race.
Latavius Murray will be changing jersey numbers in 2017 out of respect for the man he insists he is not trying to replace, Adrian Peterson.
Murray, who signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings this week, wrote on Instagram Thursday that he has “too much respect” for Peterson to even consider wearing No. 28 with his new team.
There wasn't a thought in my mind to try and wear or ask for the #28. I have too much respect for AP and so much respect for what he's done and what he means to this organization. Many people don't know, but I wore the #28 as a kid because of Fred Taylor who played for the Jaguars at the time. When AP came onto the scene and Fred retired, he was my reason for keeping #28. I want to say to Vikings fans: I'm not here to replace #28, he's irreplaceable. I'm not here to be #28, there's no one like him. I ask that you accept me for the player I am and know that I'm here to give you all I got and to win #skol
A post shared by Latavius Murray (@lataviusmurray) on
“There wasn’t a thought in my mind to try and wear or ask for the #28,” Murray wrote. “I have too much respect for AP and so much respect for what he’s done and what he means to this organization.
“Many people don’t know, but I wore the #28 as a kid because of Fred Taylor who played for the Jaguars at the time. When AP came onto the scene and Fred retired, he was my reason for keeping #28.”
Murray also assured Vikings fans he is not trying to take the place of one of the most beloved players in franchise history.
“I want to say to Vikings fans: I’m not here to replace #28, he’s irreplaceable,” he wrote. “I’m not here to be #28, there’s no one like him. I ask that you accept me for the player I am and know that I’m here to give you all I got and to win.”
Murray, 27, rushed for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. His abusive running style could remind fans in Minnesota of Peterson at times, but he’s nowhere near the caliber of player A.P. was in his prime.
Peterson remains a free agent, and there are only a select few teams who make sense for him.
Minnesota marked the final stop on Latavius Murray’s free agency tour, because the Vikings didn’t let him leave without signing a contract.
The Vikings announced the news on Twitter after midnight local time.
We have signed RB Latavius Murray (@LataviusM).
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 16, 2017
The Vikings were in desperate need of running back depth. They declined an option on Adrian Peterson, making both him and Matt Asiata free agents.
Murray was one of the top backs on the market, along with Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, and a few others.
Murray, 27, had a breakout season in 2015 when he rushed for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns for the Raiders, making the Pro Bowl. The 2013 6th-round pick out of UCF scored 12 touchdowns last season for the Raiders.
Minnesota’s signing of Murray likely signifies the end of Peterson’s time with the Vikings and also opens up a spot in Oakland.
The Eddie Lacy domino falling has created a ripple effect among free agent running backs.
Lacy on Tuesday signed with the Seattle Seahawks, which apparently has led to a change for Latavius Murray.
The former Oakland Raider changed his free agent visit schedule according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and will now visit the Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday.
The Vikings need some help at running back with both Adrian Peterson and Matt Asiata becoming free agents. They still have Jerick McKinnon on the roster but a guy like Murray could be appealing.
Murray has rushed for 20 touchdowns in three seasons with Oakland, including 12 last year. His four yards per carry the past two seasons does leave a little to be desired, but he could be a good fit for the Vikings.
Murray has also met with the Jaguars.