Early in free agency, the Las Vegas Raiders haven’t had much luck retaining their free agents. Nelson Agholor is off to the New England Patriots and it looks like they’re losing another key offensive player. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, backup running back Devontae Booker is signing a two-year deal with the New York Giants.
Booker served as the primary backup running back to Josh Jacobs last season and played well. He rushed for 423 yards while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. He’ll be a solid backup for Saquon Barkley in New York. Early in his career with Denver, he looked like he had a bright future ahead of him. He rushed for 612 yards as a rookie. However, he saw his role diminish year after year. Booker decided to try things out with the Raiders and revitalized his career.
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Raiders Wanted Booker Back
As was the case with Agholor signing with the Patriots, the Raiders are likely disappointed that Booker won’t be returning. According to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur, the team was “hoping” they’d be able to bring him back. They just wanted him at a lesser price.
Jalen Richard is already set to make over $3 million next season. The Raiders couldn’t afford to pay two backup running backs that type of money. The team will now have to look elsewhere for Jacobs’ full-time backup.
Possible Running Back Fits for Raiders
Luckily for the Raiders, there should still be plenty of options available in free agency to address their running back issue. Le’Veon Bell seems like the most obvious name to keep an eye on. It’s no secret that Jon Gruden is a big fan of the former All-Pro. He’d fit in nicely as a backup to Jacobs. It’s highly unlikely he’s still going to get a starting spot after a couple of down years. Perhaps taking a one-year deal with the Raiders would be a smart move. Gruden loves to use his running backs a lot and Jacobs has had injury issues over his first two seasons. Bell could get a lot of opportunities to make plays in Las Vegas.
It also wouldn’t be a surprise if Gruden decided to go after an aging running back past their prime. The team tried to land Frank Gore last offseason and even made him an offer. He decided to sign with the Jets instead. He could now make sense in Las Vegas. He’s 38-years-old so he’s not going to be a star anymore, but could bring a lot of leadership.
Adrian Peterson is also out there. He’s 36-years-old but still productive. He’s accumulated 2,544 rushing yards over the last three seasons. He should still have some gas left in the tank.
The Raiders could also skip past the former stars past their primes and go for a young player. Jamaal Williams made it clear that he’s not returning to the Green Bay Packers this season. He was a very good backup for Aaron Jones last season and is only 25-years-old.