Bills bulk up backfield, sign Latavius Murray to 1-year deal

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills signed running back Latavius Murray to a one-year contract on Monday, adding a veteran and productive presence to their relatively young and thin backfield.

The 33-year-old Murray has nine seasons of NFL experience and combined for 760 yards and six touchdowns split between Denver and New Orleans last year. He is the league’s active leader in scoring at least four touchdowns rushing in eight consecutive seasons.

Listed at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Murray is a noted downhill runner who can add a physical dimension to the Bills’ rushing attack. He joins a running back position that was down to three players — James Cook, Nyheim Hines and free-agent addition Damien Harris — and lost returning starter Devin Singletary to free agency in March.

The signing falls in line with general manager Brandon Beane’s philosophy of adding veteran leadership to each position group. Beane made a similar move in 2019 by signing running back Frank Gore to a one-year contract.

Murray grew up outside of nearby Syracuse, New York, and spent his college career playing at Central Florida before being selected by the Raiders in the sixth round of the 2013 draft.

The Bills represent his sixth NFL team, including two separate stints with New Orleans, rounded out by Minnesota and Baltimore. Murray’s 55 touchdowns rushing rank fourth and his 6,252 yards rushing rank sixth among active players.

With 222 receptions for 1,501 yards and two touchdowns, Murray also provides a pass-catching dimension to Buffalo’s Josh Allen-led offense.

Murray was concerned his career might be over after opening last season on the Saints practice squad and appearing in just one game. That evaporated after he was signed in October by the Broncos, where he gained 703 yards rushing and scored five TDs in 12 games, including seven starts.

“I’m able to appreciate that game and these accomplishments a little more, just knowing the journey,” Murray said in December after a 130-yard rushing, one-TD outing in a 24-15 win against Arizona.

The 130 yards rushing was the fourth-best total of his career. It came 11-plus months after Murray gained 150 yards rushing with the Ravens in their 2021 season finale against Pittsburgh.