Though the Las Vegas Raiders have embraced a youth movement, Jon Gruden still likes to sprinkle his roster with some veteran leadership. This was evident with the Jason Witten signing early in free agency. Now, it has been revealed that the team also tried to draw in one of the best running backs in the NFL over the last decade.
According to Jim Trotter at NFL.com, the Raiders were among the teams to offer Frank Gore a contract. Gore has defied the odds for a running back and has put 15 productive seasons together. He ended up signing with the New York Jets, but it would’ve been very interesting to see him suit up in silver and black.
Why’d Gore Pick the Jets?
After 15 years, Gore is definitely in the twilight of his career. While the Jets are certainly a team on the rise, it’s strange that he wouldn’t pick a team with more Super Bowl potential. However, his friendship with head coach Adam Gase sealed the deal.
“I got an opportunity to get back with a good friend and a guy I respect, and I’m happy that he wanted me to be on his team,” Gore said, per Trotter. “And I’m happy to be around a guy who has done some great things in this league in Le’Veon Bell. That can motivate me. And I can help out the young kid that they just drafted, La’Mical Perine.”
Gore has never won a Super Bowl and unless the Jets take a massive leap in 2020, he probably won’t get the chance this year. He’s third all-time in rushing yards and just passed Barry Sanders on the list last season. Gore will likely be in the Hall of Fame one day and was already honored as one of the best running backs of the 2010s. While he may not bring a ton of playmaking ability to the Jets, he’s still capable of solid production and his veteran leadership should be helpful to a young team.
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Why Are the Raiders Looking for an RB?
It’s easy to see why the Raiders would like Gore. He’s as experienced as any running back in the NFL and Gruden clearly likes veterans. However, they’ve already got a lot of running backs. Josh Jacobs is a star and should go to a lot of Pro Bowlers. The team gave Jalen Richard a contract extension in the offseason so he’s going anywhere. They also drafted Lynn Bowden Jr., who Mike Mayock said is going to play running back. Add in Rod Smith and the Raiders already might have too many running backs.
If Gore were to accept the offer, Smith would’ve probably been the odd man out. Jacobs, Richard and Bowden are locks to make the roster. That said, the team’s interest in Gore indicates that they could be looking for more running back help. If that is the case, there are some good veteran options still on the market. Rumor has it that Marshawn Lynch is looking to play another season. His most likely landing spot is with the Seattle Seahawks, but he’d make a ton of sense with the Raiders. LeSean McCoy is still available and he just spent a year with the rival Kansas City Chiefs. He could have some valuable insight. Fortunately for the team, they don’t have a need at the top as Jacobs should be in for a monster season. Adding anybody at this point would just be a luxury.