In one of the more surprising deals so far in free agency, safety Eric Murray will sign a three-year contract with the Houston Texans.
Eric Murray needs to credit his agent and/or Bill O’Brien as a general manager for being generous, because the veteran safety is reportedly set to sign a three-year contract worth—wait for it—up to $20.25 million over the life of the deal.
Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the terms which are surprising for a safety who has never been a full-time starter for any team—during his three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs or his single year with the Cleveland Browns.
What will be telling on the deal is the guaranteed money involved, but the ability for Murray to even average nearly $7 million is remarkable given how middling his numbers are. Nearly every free agent safety is still available—including Malcolm Jenkins, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Tre Boston, Vonn Bell and more—but somehow Murray was one of the first dominoes to fall after a season in which he started only four games, played in only nine and put up 24 tackles and 1 batted pass.
Murray entered the NFL as a fourth round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft by the Chiefs and played his first three seasons in the league there as a rotational option. When Brett Veach decided to completely clean the cupboard at safety, he shipped off Murray to the Browns in exchange for pass rusher Emmanuel Ogbah.
Murray now joins a Texans secondary in the midst of being remade as well, given that the team faces losses of cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safeties Jahleel Addae and Mike Adams in free agency. Murray should play alongside Justin Reid and Tashaun Gipson in three safety look.