DeMarco Murray to be released by Titans after just two seasons in Tennessee

DeMarco Murray is done in Tennessee. USATSI

With less than a week to go until free agency, the Titans cleared some serious salary cap room on Thursday by cutting DeMarco Murray

The move to dump Murray comes on the heels of a 2017 season where the running back rushed for a career-low 659 yards. 

"I want to thank DeMarco for his contributions as a Titan, not only for what he did on the field but also in the locker room and in the community," Titans general manager Jon Robinson said in a statement. "He was a pro in every facet and we wish him and his family the best moving forward."

By cutting Murray, the Titans will pick up $6.5 million in salary-cap space, which they'll definitely be able to take advantage of when free agency kicks off on March 14. 

The decision to cut Murray doesn't come as a huge surprise. The Titans still have Derrick Henry in their backfield and from the sound of it, he's going to be the workhorse for Tennessee in 2018. Robinson was asked about the Titans' running-back situation at the NFL combine last week and had only positive things to say about Henry

"He did a nice job," Robinson said of Henry, via the team's official website. "He had some really strong runs for us, and had some good play time during the season, too. The game here (vs the Colts) he kind of grinded it out there and kind of sealed it for us. His performance in the playoff game on Kansas City was a good one. We are glad Derrick is on the football team and look forward to handing it to him, throwing it to him, and getting it in his hands so he can make yards."

As for Murray, after watching him lead the AFC in rushing yards during his first year with the team in 2016, the Titans had high hopes for him in 2017, but Murray didn't quite live up to expectations. The 30-year-old running back didn't look explosive last season, and that was most likely because he spent part of the year dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. Later in the season, Murray was also dealing with a knee injury that kept him out of the Titans' Week 17 game against the Jaguars and both of Tennessee's playoff games. 

The three-time Pro Bowler arrived in Tennessee in 2016 after a surprising trade that sent him from Philadelphia to the Titans. The trade was surprising because it came one season after Murray had signed a five-year deal with the Eagles

The veteran running back shot to stardom in Dallas, where he spent the first four seasons of his career after the Cowboys made him a third-round pick in 2011. During his final year with the Cowboys in 2014, Murray led the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns with 1,845 yards and 13 scores. 

Although Murray turned 30 in February, which isn't an ideal age for an NFL running back, he has proven that he can be productive when he's healthy. In one of his biggest games of 2017, Murray rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown during a 33-27 upset win over the Seahawks in Week 3. 

With Murray about to be released, it looks like we can officially write up the obituary for the exotic smashmouth offense. With Murray and the man who came up with it (Mike Mularkey) both gone from Tennessee, there's no reason to speak of that offense ever again. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories
    24/7 Scores, News, Highlights