For each of the past two seasons, with Dalvin Cook battling injuries, Latavius Murray has stepped in and been a big part of the Minnesota Vikings’ offense. Thanks to the restructuring of his contract the team did before the start of the 2018 season, Murray is set to become a free agent in a couple of weeks, and he’s making it clear that he doesn’t want to be Plan B anymore.
In an interview with Courtney Cronin of ESPN, Murray made it clear that he wants to be a lead back somewhere in the NFL.
“I want everybody to know -- make no mistake about it, I want to play,” Murray said this offseason. “I want to start. I’m not content with being in a backup role, but I want to compete, and Dalvin knows that. We push each other. That’s what it’s about. But I would love to be back here for that opportunity to compete with and against them. That’s the only way you get better.”
If Murray holds to that, then the chances of him being back in Minnesota for a third season appear to be pretty slim. Cook is going to be considered the #1 back as long as he’s healthy, and a veteran of Murray’s stature is likely going to prove to be too expensive for a team that’s going to need some deft maneuvering to create cap space to address other needs. Plus, as Cronin points out, the Vikings seem to like a couple of young players they kept on the squad last season in Mike Boone and Roc Thomas, both of whom will carry a significantly lower price tag than Murray will.
Murray likely has some good seasons left in him and will put together a pretty solid performance for some NFL team. However, if he’s adamant about being a starter going forward, I wouldn’t expect to see him back in purple again in 2019.