clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Buffalo Bills hosted free-agent RB Latavius Murray, per report

The well-traveled Murray made a stop in Orchard Park, NY

Arizona Cardinals v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The topic of running back has dominated much of the discussion during the Buffalo Bills’ offseason. While the act of running the ball has trended dormant since LeSean McCoy left Buffalo, Bills Mafia, analysts, and randos at the gas station seem to have more than two cents’ worth of an opinion on ways to fix the issue.

The idea of drafting a potentially generational talent at the position in Bijan Robinson seems to be giving far too many people anxiety. The Bills simply can’t use another early pick on a running back — especially a first-rounder. Not again, not this year. Right?

General manager Brandon Beane knows the answer to that, but he’s not going to let on. He watched former third-round pick Devin Singletary leave town on an affordable deal to play for the Houston Texans. For One Bills Drive, draft and retain seems to be void of a running back tab. Singletary was a model teammate who, despite well-documented fumble issues, was underused with the Bills and chose a new opportunity.

Most fans figure that it’s now James Cook’s show or, at minimum, we’re looking at a time share with Nyheim Hines. But maybe Cook isn’t able to handle a significant jump in snaps, unless he’s put on muscle mass and shows the coaches what they need to see in pass protection. Then Beane goes out and signs Damien Harris away from the New England Patriots. Okay, that’s their power back. Done. They can put to bed the idea of adding another player to the room — NFL Draft or otherwise. Except, of course, for the fact that it’s not time for bed... even though we’d closed our eyes.

On Wednesday afternoon, ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates shared news that the “Bills hosted veteran RB Latavius Murray on a free agency visit.”

Latavius Murray, who turned 33 in January, is a ten-year NFL veteran who entered the league as a 2013 sixth-round pick of the then-Oakland Raiders. After three seasons with the Raiders, Murray spent two campaigns with the Minnesota Vikings, followed by a pair with the New Orleans Saints. Murray then signed with the Baltimore Ravens for the 2021 season, before spending time with both the Denver Broncos and Saints again in 2022. Five teams in ten seasons. But along his circuitous path, Latavius Murray has steadily toted the rock — with production as a runner that (on the surface) appears in line with Devin Singletary.

The 6’3”, 230-pound Murray has put together a solid, yet fairly quiet NFL career. for much of Murray’s career, his best ability has been his availability. Playing running back for a decade in today’s NFL is no small feat, and Murray is no small back. In total, Murray has started 76 of 135 games — with 1,481 carries for 6,252 yards (4.2 ypc) and 55 touchdowns. As a receiver, Murray has caught 222 passes on 279 targets for 1,501 yards with two touchdowns. That’s 7,753 scrimmage yards and 57 touchdowns. See? quietly solid. Early in Murray’s career, he made the NFL Pro Bowl while compiling 266 rushes for 1,066 yards with six touchdowns; adding 41 receptions for 232 yards.

While it may seem curious for the Buffalo Bills to host a 33-year-old free-agent running back at this point in the offseason, it’s important to remember two things. First, the Bills only have six draft picks, and spending one on a running back might not be in the cards (and drafting who they might want is no guarantee). Second, the team will have roster spots open, ripe for competition between players looking to make a team against the odds. Those players will join Buffalo’s roster this summer either as undrafted or veteran free agents. Latavis Murray represents the latter, and with a resume to back up his place in the NFL. But is that place with the Buffalo Bills, or has the clock ticked too far forward?

(All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference)