INDIANAPOLIS _ When the subject of running back DeMarco Murray came up here Wednesday at the NFL Combine, both Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel were decidedly vague on the topic.
Murray battled a number of nagging injuries last season, playing through hamstring and knee problems, before finally succumbing to an ankle injury that prevented him from playing in the Titans’ playoff-clinching win over Jacksonville or any of Tennessee’s postseason game.
Murray, 30, rushed for just 659 yards last season after leading the AFC in rushing in 2016 with 1,287 yards in his first season with the Titans.
Complicating the situation, of course, is that Murray’s $6.25 million base salary, which makes him less enticing, especially if he continues to lose carries to Derrick Henry.
Robinson simply said that Murray’s situation would be evaluated along with every other player on the roster, and that, of course, salary could play into matters.
“He’s under contract right now. We’ll see how it goes,” Robinson said. “We’re evaluating everybody on the roster. At this time year with free agency, that’s when the financial components come into things, unlike the draft process where you just pick them. We’re evaluating everybody on the football team, along with the guys that could be potential free agents here in the next few weeks.”
Vrabel was asked to assess the running backs on the Titans roster, and said, “I think we have some big, powerful runners. DeMarco is a proven player in this league. Derrick is a young player that has performed well when he’s been given an opportunity. … It’s like every position that we’ve talked about. We’re looking to add and improve.”
As for some reports and speculation that Murray is likely to be a salary cap casualty barring a reworking of his current contract, Vrabel would neither confirm nor deny those.
“I don’t get into a whole lot of reports outside of our building,” he said. “What’s important is what happens inside our building and what Jon and I view as important to our team. As far as reports, I couldn’t comment on those, but I know as far as Jon and I understand that he’s under contract and we move forward until he’s not under contract.”
If the Titans decide to part ways with Murray, they would likely add a running back either via the draft or free agency to complement Henry.