Former Oklahoma Sooners’ Stars Now Philadelphia Eagles

Two former Oklahoma Sooners football stars are teammates again as newly signed members of the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford and running back DeMarco Murray were teammates at Oklahoma for several seasons. This week they ere reunited as new members of the Eagles.

Bradord, who has the No. 1 overall pick of the St. Louis Rams in the 2010 NFL draft, was traded to the Eagles this week after five injury-plagued seasons as the Rams’ starting quarterback. The former OU signal caller has played in only seven games in the past two seasons after suffering knee injuries in back-to-back years. He missed all of the 2014 season, suffering an ACL injury in the preseason.

Bradford led Oklahoma to the Big 12 championship his redshirt sophomore season in 2008, and the Sooners advanced to the BCS Championship game, where they lost to No. 1 Florida, quarterbacked by Tim Tebow. Murray also played on OU’s 2008 conference-championship team. Bradford won the Heisman Trophy that season.

Murray was selected in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He set a Cowboys’ franchise record by rushing for 1,845 yards this past season, breaking the team record set by former Cowboy Emmitt Smith. Murray also set a team record by gaining over 100 yards in eight straight games to begin the 2014 season.

Jan 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers (56) in the third quarter in the second half in the 2014 NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The former Sooner running back and All-Big 12 performer signed with the Eagles as a free agent. He will replace two-time All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy, who led the NFL in rushing in 2013. McCoy was traded by the Eagles to the Buffalo Bills.

Murray signed with Philadelphia for  reported $42 million over five years, with $21 million of that money guaranteed.

The Eagles traded starting QB Nick Foles to St. Louis for Bradford. In addition, the Rams will get the Eagles fourth-round draft pick in 2015 and second-round pick in 2016. An interesting side note to the trade of Bradford for Foles: Foles played at Arizona, when OU co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was the head coach there.

Bradford signed a record rookie contract of a whopping $78 million over six seasons, with $50 million guaranteed. He will earn $13 million this coming season.

Bradford has been under fire at St. Louis for the Rams’ less than stellar record while he was there and because of his recurring injury problem. The truth of the matter is, the former No. 1 draft pick has not had much offensive help, and his receiving corps has been among the worst in the NFL. After running back Stephen Jackson left, the Rams were never able to muster much of a rushing offense, either.

So, in reality, the criticism of Bradford while he was with St. Louis should not be all on his shoulders.

With a running game behind him now in Philadelphia (former San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Matthews is also now an Eagle) and better receivers, look for Bradford to calm the critics.

Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly is well known for his hurry-up offensive system, a system that Bradford helped install at Oklahoma.

Look for Murray also to be a big threat catching passes out of the backfield.. It will be like old times, again, for these two former Sooners.