Running back Latavius Murray is the latest veteran looking for a new home. The New Orleans Saints parted ways with the veteran, making Murray the best free agent on the open market. With running backs dropping like flies across the league, it’s only a matter of time before Murray lands with a new team.
Saints are releasing RB Latavius Murray, per source. They asked for a pay reduction yesterday and he refused. Murray is coming off his best season, averaging 4.5 yards per carry and 7.7 yards per catch.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 7, 2021
Five Potential Latavius Murray Landing Spots
Far and away the most likely candidate, the Baltimore Ravens desperately need a fresh pair of legs. J.K. Dobbins and Justice Hill are already done for the year, meaning that Gus Edwards and Ty’Son Williams are the only healthy runners on the team. The team did add Le’Veon Bell to the practice squad, but he is nothing more than a replacement-level player at this point.
Latavius Murray might not be the player he once was, but he’s easily the best option on the market and much better than Bell. Jim Harbaugh likes to use a running back by committee, and adding Murray would give Baltimore an ideal 1-2 punch heading into the season. For all intents and purposes, Edwards can take the Dobbins role while Murray handles the Edwards job.
The Atlanta Falcons might just have the worst stable of running backs this side of New York. Mike Davis has one good year to his name, while Wayne Gallman only just arrived after failing to beat out JaMycal Hasty and Elijah Mitchell. Latavius Murray is easily better than Gallman, and could even push Davis for the starting job. Arthur Smith’s scene is fantastic for running backs, so Murray could easily end up having a great year despite his advanced age.
Adding a veteran running back when you already have James Robinson is almost as crazy as drafting a running back in the first round when you already have James Robinson. Urban Meyer hasn’t added another running back following Travis Etienne’s season-ending injury, and he doesn’t seem thrilled about the idea of Robinson handling a three-down workload. And no, Duke Johnson doesn’t count.
If healthy, Etienne would have likely handled most of the receiving work in Jacksonville’s backfield. Murray isn’t the best receiving back in the world, but he’s not an active liability out of the backfield. At the very least, he’s a better fit for the role than Carlos Hyde.
This playoff touchdown against the Bears ended up being the second-to-last regular season touch for Latavius Murray in a Saints uniform. pic.twitter.com/6Xhvoegf3T
— Jeff Nowak (@Jeff_Nowak) September 7, 2021
The Buffalo Bills can get by with the duo of Zack Moss and Devin Singletary, but man do they leave a lot to be desired. Neither player offers anything special as a runner or receiver, and the team is one injury away from turning to Matt Breida. The Bills don’t rely too heavily on their running game, but adding someone like Murray into the mix will make life easier for all involved.
Los Angeles Chargers
In many ways, Austin Ekeler is very similar to Alvin Kamara. Like Kamara, Ekeler is one of the most dangerous receiving backs in the league, capable of getting open against any type of coverage and making big plays after the catch. While he’s not the biggest guy, he can handle carries, but you probably don’t want to give him 300 touches a year.
This is where Murray comes in. The Chargers need an early-down runner to spell Ekeler on long drives, and Murray is a perfect fit for this role. Justin Jackson struggles to stay on the field, and Joshua Kelley was one of the least efficient runners in the league last year. Murray is the perfect backup for this team and would be a nice add for an up-and-coming roster.
Honorable Mention: New York Jets
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