DeMarco Murray calls it quits after seven seasons

DeMarco Murray, a three-time Pro Bowl running back, has retired after seven seasons in the NFL.

“It’s been a long time thinking, the last year or two, and physically, mentally and emotionally, I think it’s time for me to hang it up,” Murray said while making his announcement Friday on ESPN’s NFL Live.

Murray, 30, was cut by the Tennessee Titans on March 8 after serving as the lead back for two seasons, including in 2016, when he was the AFC’s leading rusher with 1,287 yards.

He had a career-low 659 rushing yards and tied for a career low with 3.6 yards per carry in 2017, primarily due to injuries and a lack of explosiveness. He failed to reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the first time since 2012.

He played in 99 career games, starting 86, over the seven years and finished with 7,174 rushing yards. On 1,604 career rushing attempts (a 4.5 career average-per-carry), Murray scored 49 rushing touchdowns. He also was adept at catching out of the backfield, hauling in 307 receptions for 2,165 yards and another six scores.

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Although the impetus for this trend is mostly NFL clubs trying to keep their studs fresher and healthier, and many will chalk up his record-breaking year to Dallas’ O-line, Murray deserves credit for his outstanding versatility and progress forged during his NFL career. Remember, the former Oklahoma back entered the league with durability concerns and missed a combined 11 games in his first three seasons before his 2014 dominance. Murray again proved the doubters wrong with his bounce-back year in Nashville in 2015, and in missing only three games with injuries over his final three seasons.

Of the eight players ahead of Murray on the NFL’s active rushing list, only four — Jonathan Stewart, Marshawn Lynch, LeSean McCoy and Frank Gore — are currently signed, while Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson still hope to latch on with clubs in 2018.

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