Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Philly Easily Won Bidding War; Eagles' Offer to Murray Apparently Far Exceeded Caldwell's Efforts

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Philly Easily Won Bidding War; Eagles' Offer to Murray Apparently Far Exceeded Caldwell's Efforts

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

PHOENIX | The last time Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell held an interview session, it was March 11 to announce the addition of five players in the opening 24 hours of free agency.

But a primary topic for Caldwell to cover Monday during a break at the NFL Owners Meetings was about a player the Jaguars didn't get: Running back DeMarco Murray.

The Jaguars joined Dallas, Oakland and Philadelphia in trying to sign Murray, the league's 2014 rushing champion.

The Eagles signed Murray to a five-year, $40 million contract that includes $18 million guaranteed.

Caldwell said the Eagles' offer exceeded the Jaguars' final offer, "by a large amount."

So did Philadelphia go $1-$2 million per year higher than the Jaguars?

"More than that - and I'll leave it at that," Caldwell said.

A league source said a "reasonable interpretation," from that comment is the Jaguars' best offer was in the five-year, $25 million, $10 million guaranteed range.

Caldwell said he "probably exceeded," the ceiling he initially set on Murray but bowed out on the night of March 10.

"We read between the lines - we probably weren't his first choice and if we were, we probably would have made it happen," Caldwell said. "We were serious about him and we were probably the second-best offer he had. We just needed the deal to get done quicker than they were willing to do it. Philly got a great player and we're excited with the players we got."

Here's a recap of some of the other topics Caldwell addressed:

ADDING PIERCE

What's the story: The Jaguars claimed Baltimore running back Bernard Pierce off waivers last week. The Ravens cut Pierce after he was arrested for driving under the influence (he was driving 55 miles per hour in a 30-mph zone). Pierce's numbers aren't great: He has a career 3.8-yard average on 353 attempts, but the Jaguars want to have as many options as possible at the tailback spot. In the last year of his rookie contract, Pierce's cap number is $798,986.

Caldwell said: "Bernard is a player we've followed since he came out of college [at Temple] and there really wasn't a lot of risk involved in doing it, outside of the off-the-field incident. …

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