FOXBOROUGH -- Linebacker Marques Murrell has flown under the radar this offseason since signing a two-year contract with the Patriots ($100,000 signing bonus). If nothing else, he's sure to catch the attention of Patriots fans in training camp based on his jersey number (93), which was previously worn by Richard Seymour.
Yet Murrell had a quick-developing market for his services this offseason, which reflects a player who still has value in the eyes of some talent evaluators.
Not tendered a contract by the New York Jets as a restricted free agent, Murrell unexpectedly became an unrestricted free agent March 5. The Patriots and Broncos then pounced.
"The turnaround was two days. My agent told me give it a week or two, but the turnaround was actually a little faster than I intended," Murrell told reporters on Thursday at Gillette Stadium. "As soon as the Jets didn’t re-sign me, I was on a plane to come here to Foxboro, then I went to Denver, and came back to Foxboro and signed the paperwork."
Murrell (6-2, 250) is considered a strong special teams player. It's also possible that he could help boost the Patriots' pass rush, which was his forte in college at Appalachian State.
Four quick hits from Murrell's interview today:
What has surprised him with the Patriots. “Just the work ethic, and also how much of a team. Guys are really truly teammates around here. I’m not saying nobody else is not teammates, but it’s more of a close-knit family here, I can say.”
How he describes his style of play. “Hard work. Smart. Play hard. Will get to the ball, make plays.”
On how he views himself as a player -- special teams vs. defense. “In the NFL, you always have to look at yourself as a special teamer first. Special teams can change the game instantly as a deep bomb by Brady or an interception by Meriweather and taking it to the house. I definitely look at myself as special teams first, then a defensive player.”
What his brother, former Jets running back Adrian Murrell, said about him changing sides in the rivalry. “Adrian told me that was a very good move just because Belichick, he’s a great coach. He’s one of the greatest coaches. It’s no-nonsense. I can understand that. You’re always going to play a little bit and have fun, but it’s about winning here.”