By: Will Burchfield
NFL free agency doesn’t open until Wednesday at 4 p.m., but the Lions might make a move before then.
The team is hosting ex-Titans running back DeMarco Murray for a visit on Monday, according to ESPN.
Murray was released by Tennessee last week, making him eligible to sign with another team right away. The 30-year-old was held down by a hamstring injury in 2017, logging the fewest carries (184) and yards (659) of his career since his 2012 sophomore season.
Of course, both those totals would have ranked tops on the Lions last year, as well as Murray’s six touchdowns. Detroit finished last in the league in rushing for the second time in three years.
Lions general manager Bob Quinn has made it clear he intends to add a name or two to the running backs room this offseason, and Murray possesses the kind of physical, between-the-tackles style the group lacks. He’s just one year removed from a Pro-Bowl season in which he racked up 1,287 yards, nine touchdowns and 4.4 yards per carry.
Murray was also the offensive player of the year in 2014.
The draft is chock-full of running back talent, and the Lions could likely find a talented option in the second or third round. There are also a handful of intriguing names in free agency, including the likes of LeGarrette Blount and Frank Gore.
Signing Murray would likely take the Lions out of the latter pool of players, with the draft still a likely direction. Either way, bringing Murray in for a visit proves Quinn and Detroit’s front office is serious about making upgrades to a position where they’ve struggled mightily in recent seasons.