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Titans need to build a better line for DeMarco Murray

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- His numbers over the past two seasons say that DeMarco Murray won’t fix the Tennessee Titans' run-game problems by himself.

Tennessee is making a deal with the Eagles for the veteran running back, who’s heading into his sixth season.

Behind a great offensive line in Dallas two years ago, he was outstanding, with the most yards in the NFL before first contact and after it.

Behind a much more average line in Philadelphia last season, he was pedestrian, 28th before first contact and 26th after.

I am generally averse to giving up much for veteran running backs, whose NFL lifespans are short.

Murray surely isn’t as good as he was over the 2014 season in Dallas, where everything set up perfectly. And he surely isn’t as bad as he was in 2015 in Philadelphia, when he didn’t really fit what the Eagles were doing.

The Titans clearly needed a better lead back than anyone on their roster, a group that includes draft picks from the past two seasons in David Cobb and Bishop Sankey, as well as 2014 undrafted free agent Antonio Andrews and veteran Dexter McCluster.

As I wrote earlier, the Titans have a long list of needs and this deal scratches one off.

We don’t yet know the details of what the Titans gave up in the trade. I would hope it isn't much, given the lack of Eagles’ leverage. We also don’t yet know the details of Murray's revised contract, which needs to be worth drastically less than the remaining $31 million due to him for the final four years of the deal he signed a year ago with the Eagles.

If the compensation and contract are reasonable, I have no objection to the Titans taking a stab.

But this is the beginning of their work on the run game, not the end. The line needs to be far better for him to succeed.