The Tennessee Titans will release running back DeMarco Murray in a cost-saving move, the Titans announced Thursday afternoon.
Murray, 30, saw his role reduced down the stretch last season as Derrick Henry took on a bigger role. The Titans will save $6.5 million in salary-cap space once they make the most official.
“I want to thank DeMarco for his contributions as a Titan, not only for what he did on the field but also in the locker room and in the community,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson said in a statement. “He was a pro in every facet and we wish him and his family the best moving forward.”
Murray ran 184 times for a career-worst 659 yards and six touchdowns last season but missed the final three games with a hamstring injury. Henry proved to be the better fit, although the Titans are expected to target a third-down back either in free agency or through the draft.
Even still, Robinson said Henry is improved in his receiving ability.
"He's catching the ball better," Robinson said last week at the NFL scouting combine. "I thought he caught the ball better this past season than he did his rookie year. He's obviously a little bit more acclimated to the pro game, even though those Alabama teams, there's quite a few pro players on those teams. He can be a guy we hand the ball to and throw it to."
NFL running backs often hit the proverbial wall around Murray's age. He led the AFC with 1,287 rushing yards but fell to 3.6 yards per attempt this past season. This is why Le'Veon Bell — and any other back approaching that age in the coming years — wants to get paid in the form of a long-term deal.
Those offers stop happening eventually, and Murray likely will have to land somewhere as a No. 2 back.