Raiders Give Contract Extension to Speedy, Veteran Running Back

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Getty Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden speaking with a referee.

Jalen Richard isn’t going anywhere.

The speedy running back is one of the longest-tenured Raiders and he’s now set to join them in Las Vegas. According to the team’s official website, Richard is receiving a two-year contract extension. The deal is worth $7 million and it could go up to $8 million with incentives, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. $4.6 million will be guaranteed.

Richard has gained a reputation for being one of the better receivers out of the backfield in the NFL but fell off a bit in 2019. After catching 68 passes for 607 yards in 2018, he accumulated 36 catches for 323 yards in 2018. Josh Jacobs’ emergence has a lot to do with that, but there’s no doubt the Raiders plan to get him the ball more indean 2020 based on the decision to extend him.

Josh Jacobs & Richard Are Only 2019 RBs Under Contract

Now that Richard is locked up for the next couple of years, the spotlight will be shined on DeAndre Washington. He was Jacobs’ main backup for most of the season and looked really impressive at times. Richard and Washington came into the league at the same time with the Raiders, but Richard stood out sooner. It’s clear the team likes Washington as they relied on him quite a bit once Jacobs got injured.

However, Washington could wait and try to test out the market. Jacobs clearly owns the Raider backfield and he’s going to for years to come. Perhaps Washington wants to go to a situation where it’s a possibility that he can be the main guy. He was able to look the part at times during Jacobs’ time out, but he hasn’t proven to be consistent in the past. It will be interesting to see what the team decides to do with him as they should really make sure they have a solid backup for Jacobs because of his injury history.

The Raiders brought in Rod Smith late in the season, but it doesn’t seem likely that the team is going to hand him an extension anytime soon. Isaiah Crowell signed a one-year deal with the Raiders before last season but never played thanks to injury. It remains to be seen what the team will do with him.

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Will Raiders Add an RB in the Draft?

The Raiders would be very wise to ensure that the backup running back spot behind Jacobs is filled with a solid player. The offense looked very stale once the impressive rookie had to miss time with a shoulder injury. If the Raiders decided to move on from Washington, that will mean they need to find a proper backup as Richard will always be a third option.

The team could look to the draft as many great running back prospects often fall to later rounds. Pairing Jacobs with his former teammate Najee Harris is a very appealing idea. Harris could fall to the third round where the Raiders have three picks. The two could form an excellent duo as they played well together while at Alabama.

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