Murray should be the lead back. Rapoport reported that Murray got a five-year contract worth more than $40 million with more than $20 million guaranteed. Mathews was expected to get $7.5 million guaranteed on a three-year deal that has $11.5 million overall, according to NFL Media's Albert Breer.
Mathews is excited to team up with the ex-Cowboy, saying "To play with a guy like that, it would be great. I wouldn't shy away from that at all."
It's a surprising development for Chip Kelly, who continues to treat free agency like an excited fantasy owner. We thought that he didn't want to spend big money at running back when he dealt LeSean McCoy away, but now he's given out almost $30 million in guaranteed money to secure a three-headed monster at running back.
The Eagles won't have to worry nearly as much about Murray breaking down because he won't get as many carries in Philadelphia. Mathews is essentially a highly paid backup, and is one of the most aggressive early-down runners in the league when healthy. Murray is the every-down threat of the group, while Sproles is more of a gadget player.
Some Philadelphia fans don't seem happy about all the wheeling and dealing lately, but the Eagles backfield is better than it was a week ago, plus they've added Kiko Alonso. Murray is unquestionably a top-five NFL running back, and Mathews could be the most talented backup in the league. Kelly has always mistakenly had a reputation as a pass-first coach when his Oregon attacks were largely built around the running game. Kelly might not have that reputation much longer.