With Murray aboard, Eagles move ahead with Bradford

At his introductory press conference on Wednesday, new Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford expressed interest in reuniting with former Oklahoma teammate DeMarco Murray.

"Absolutely, I've been trying my hardest. I've called him, texted him, I've done everything," Bradford said. "We've been in communication. I feel like if there was someway we could land DeMarco, it'd be a great pickup. Not only is he a great player, he's a great person. He's a really close friend of mine too, but I really think that he could help this ball club."

It looks like Bradford is getting his wish, as Murray and the Eagles have verbally agreed on a five-year deal.

It also should Bradford, recovering from a torn ACL, some security moving forward. With Murray aboard, Bradford is going to be Chip Kelly's quarterback next season.

Kelly has done a lot with his newly obtained power this offseason, swapping players left and right and continuing to shape the Eagles into what he envisioned when he took the head coaching job two seasons ago. 

Through it all, no player was safe.

In the past two offseasons, the Eagles have released DeSean Jackson, the all-pro deep threat at wide receiver. They released Trent Cole, the longest-tenured Eagle. They released veteran lineman Todd Herremans. They traded LeSean McCoy, the franchise's all-time leading rusher and 2013 NFL rushing champ. They traded Nick Foles, the upstart quarterback behind the team's 2013 playoff appearance.

The Eagles have undergone a complete makeover this offseason. Gone are McCoy, Herremans, Cole, Foles, Jeremy Maclin and Cary Williams. New to the nest are Murray, Bradford, Kiko Alonso, Byron Maxwell, Walter Thurmond, Ryan Mathews and Brad Jones.

Even with the revolving door of moves, the question still lingered. Was Kelly plotting to get Marcus Mariota in the draft, even after the trade for Bradford?

At his press conference, Kelly said he would not mortgage the future for Mariota, even after calling him the best quarterback in the draft. He added that Bradford was not going to be used as a trade chip. The Murray signing confirms Kelly's statement while answering the Mariota question once and for all.

Mariota won't be coming to the Eagles – at least not yet. Hey, you never know with Chip.

But for the 2015 season, Sam Bradford is the Eagles quarterback.

The most supportive reason for this is Bradford's bond with Murray. Bradford helped bring Murray to Philadelphia and the two were teammates at Oklahoma.

Additionally, this signals the new beginning for the Eagles offense. In two seasons, they completely changed the personnel across the board – new quarterback, new running back, new wide receivers.

The only consistent part of the offense since Kelly was hired are Brent Celek, Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Riley Cooper. Those four are the only offensive players remaining who were not personally signed or drafted by Kelly.

This is Chip Kelly's team for sure. But it is also Sam Bradford's offense to run.

What Kelly has done is put a variety of options – not necessarily weapons – around Bradford. There will be at least three viable running backs in the system for the start of the season – Murray, Mathews and one of Darren Sproles or Chris Polk. Sproles could very well line up as a wide receiver for many snaps in the upcoming season.

Jordan Matthews will begin his second NFL season. The Eagles have two solid tight ends in Zach Ertz and Celek. And all of this is before the draft.

Yes, the Eagles are without a definitive top receiver and they are continuing to shape the offensive line in a different direction as well. But the running game appears to have new life with two new additions to the group, Murray being the headliner.

And for Bradford, if he can stay healthy, this may be his chance for rebirth, to resurrect an NFL career that many feel is dying quickly.

It is a huge chance that Kelly is taking. But the chances have some logic behind them.

It went from being Jackson, McCoy, Foles and Kelly to Murray, Bradford and Kelly. This is the new core. Time will tell if it becomes a championship quality team.

Kevin Durso is a contributor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso

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