By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This offseason the Eagles signed DeMarco Murray, the reigning NFL rushing champion to a five-year deal worth $40 million ($20 million guaranteed) to replace LeSean McCoy.

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But they also signed the injury-riddle back from San Diego, Ryan Mathews, to a three-year deal worth $11.5 million ($7.5 million guaranteed). With Darren Sproles already in Philly, suddenly the Eagles’ backfield was loaded with talent.

Through five games, the most productive Eagles’ rusher is Mathews, who has 205 yards on 41 carries (5.0 average). Murray, who missed one game with a hamstring injury, has just 130 yards on 49 carries (2.7 average).

“My mom knows that Ryan Mathews is better than DeMarco Murray,” NFL analyst Ross Tucker told the 94WIP Morning Show on Wednesday. “Everybody knows that and I told you, if you look at 2013 everybody would have said that Mathews deserved a better contract. But last year, DeMarco had a big year, Ryan got hurt and that’s why DeMarco got the money he did and Ryan got what he did.

Listen: Ross Tucker on the 94WIP Morning Show

 

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“But I’ll say this, I give the Eagles credit for signing Ryan Mathews because they could have said, you know what we’re fine getting DeMarco and having Sproles and Kenjon Barner or whoever. They would be in bad, bad shape if they didn’t have Ryan Mathews right now.”

Cataldi, shocked by Tucker’s statement, asked Tucker is he thinks Mathews is flat-out better than Murray.

“Yes, I do,” Tucker said. “Ryan Mathews was a first round pick for a reason, DeMarco went in the second [round] for a reason. I think DeMarco is a good back, but especially in the Eagles’ system, Ryan just has more juice man. He’s more explosive.”

Former Eagles offensive lineman and co-host of the 94WIP Morning Show Jon Runyan agreed with Tucker, who is also a former NFL offensive lineman.

“Just look what he’s doing,” Runyan said of Mathews. “Look at the tackles he’s breaking and the energy he’s playing with. That’s the spark you need.”

So will Chip Kelly start to use Mathews more throughout the season?

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“Yes, you do and I think Chip is and he will, but I think because it’s still relatively early and because they gave DeMarco that much money,” Tucker said of the running game workload thus far. “And because they want DeMarco’s confidence to stay at a high level, that’s coach speak.”