The Detroit Lions are prepared to host a couple of free agent running backs as the National Football League's (NFL) legal tampering period begins.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, three-time Pro Bowler DeMarco Murray and former Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart are scheduled to visit the Lions on Monday.
Murray was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2011 draft. He was the league's rushing yards leader and rushing touchdowns leader in the 2014 season, and he earned a spot on the first-team All-Pro squad that year.
However, his production has declined dramatically last season, and the Tennessee Titans released him last week to save $6.5 million in salary cap space.
Murray had 184 carries for 659 rushing yards (3.6 yards per carry) to go with six touchdowns in 15 games with the Titans last season. He also caught 39 passes for 266 receiving yards and one score.
Meanwhile, Stewart was selected by the Panthers with the 13th overall pick in the 2008 draft, and he would go on to etch his name in their record books as the franchise's all-time leading rusher. Stewart played his entire 10-year career with the team, but he was released two weeks ago to save $3.7 million in cap room.
Now, the Lions will get the chance to see him up close.
Stewart rushed for 680 yards on 198 carries (3.4 yards per carry) to go with six touchdowns in 15 games with the Panthers last year. He also caught eight passes for 52 receiving yards and one score.
Of course, it should be noted that the Lions do not necessarily have to sign either Murray or Stewart right now because there are a lot of younger running backs available in the open market and the draft.
"If the Lions pass on both veterans, there are some younger options on the market who could help the team's long-struggling ground game, including Isaiah Crowell, Carlos Hyde and Dion Lewis. This is also expected to be a deep draft class in the position," Justin Rogers said in his column for the Detroit News.