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Eagles Trade RB DeMarco Murray to the Titans; Patriots Watching Compensation and Fit

Soon after the Philadelphia Eagles traded away two of former head coach Chip Kelly's headline acquisitions, the franchise kicked out Kelly's marquee signing. Running back DeMarco Murray, who signed a 5-year, $40 million contract, has been traded to the Tennessee Titans in exchange for a draft pick, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Due to Murray's massive contract, it's likely that the Titans passed along a mid- to late-round pick, so the compensation will be interesting. The Titans general manager is former Patriots staffer Jon Robinson, so you can be sure the Patriots are watching closely.

The fallout of this trade is also interesting because now there are more running backs on the market than teams know what to do with them.

Team RB Committed? FA?
Patriots ?? LeGarrette Blount
Bills LeSean McCoy 2015 trade
Jets ?? Chris Ivory
Dolphins ?? Lamar Miller
Steelers Le'Veon Bell, DeAngelo Williams 2013 2nd, '15 contract
Ravens Justin Forsett 2015 extension
Bengals Giovanni Bernard, Jeremy Hill 2013 2nd, 2014 2nd
Browns Duke Johnson 2015 3rd
Titans DeMarco Murray, Bishop Sankey 2016 trade, 2014 2nd
Colts Frank Gore 2015 contract
Jaguars T.J. Yeldon 2015 2nd
Texans ?? Arian Foster
Broncos ?? C.J. Anderson
Chiefs Jamaal Charles 2014 extension
Raiders Latavius Murray Big 2015 season
Chargers Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead 2015 1st, contract
Giants Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen 2014, 2015 contracts
Cowboys Darren McFadden 2015 contract
Eagles Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles 2015 contracts
Wash Matt Jones 2015 3rd Alfred Morris
Packers Eddie Lacy 2013 2nd
Lions Ameer Abdullah 2015 2nd
Vikings Adrian Peterson 2015 extension
Bears Jeremy Langford 2015 4th Matt Forte
Saints Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller 2015 contracts
Falcons Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman 2014 4th, 2015 3rd
Panthers Jonathan Stewart 2012 extension
Buccaneers ?? Doug Martin
Seahawks Thomas Rawls Big 2015 season
49ers Carlos Hyde 2014 2nd
Rams Todd Gurley 2015 1st
Cardinals David Johnson 2015 3rd

26 of the 32 teams appear to have an incumbent running back, with only Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart under a contract that began prior to 2013 (Stewart signed an extension in 2012). While high draft picks are no measure of a team's commitment to a starter- the Titans selected RB Bishop Sankey as the #1 running back in the 2014 draft and just acquired Murray- recent draft investments at the position could deter a team from dipping back into the well during the draft.

All six of the teams that don't have a clear incumbent- and I'm grouping the Patriots in with the bunch due to Dion Lewis' torn ACL- almost all of them have an obvious free agent connection.

The Patriots have LeGarrette Blount, the Jets have Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell, the Dolphins have Lamar Miller, the Broncos have C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman, and the Buccaneers have Doug Martin. The Texans are the only team with a question mark after cutting ties with Arian Foster.

When we look towards the draft, there is one clear blue chip running back in Ezekiel Elliott and two red chip backs in Derrick Henry and Kenneth Dixon. At a draft minimum, these three players will be competing for starting roles in 2016, and they will join Foster and Bears RB Matt Forte as players without an immediate and obvious home. There are a ton of running backs that could help the Patriots.

There's a very real possibility that the Patriots could sign Blount to a veteran's minimum deal and still manage to draft Henry or Dixon at 60th overall- or if Henry and Dixon are not available, then a veteran is likely to be on the market for a lower-than-expected contract.

The New England Patriots understand that the running game was unacceptable in 2015 and they are going to do whatever they can to improve it in 2016. Don't count out a major move in such a saturated running back market.