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.
Murray had two years remaining on a deal that Titans general manager Jon Robinson renegotiated after acquiring him via trade from the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2016. Murray was set to earn $6.5 million in 2018 and $6.75 million in 2019, but the Titans will not take on any dead money by releasing him.
“It’s bittersweet, but for I think me it’s the right timing for myself and my family moving forward,” Murray said.
“I think you just wake up,” he said of making the decision. “I’ve always heard the saying, ‘When you know, you know, and one day that day will come.’ And for me it’s been the last year or two. I’ve been constantly thinking about this. Working out still, in great shape, feel great, and it’s time. It’s time for me.”
Murray led the NFL in rushing in 2014, when he was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year after running for 1,845 yards with 13 touchdowns with the Dallas Cowboys.
In mid-January, Murray laughed off the notion that his time as an NFL starter was over. After starting all 31 games he played for the Titans, he said he “definitely” believes he can still be a highly productive feature back in the NFL.
“I feel very confident in myself. Excited for the future. Excited for my future. I know what type of player I am,” Murray said at the time.
Murray ran for 7,174 yards and 49 touchdowns in his career, averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He also had 307 receptions for 2,165 yards and 6 scores.