RB With Multiple Super Bowl Rings Floated as Raiders Free Agent Target

james white

Getty New England Patriots RB James White.

When Jon Gruden was still the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders, he talked a lot about wanting to build an elite running game but that just never happened. New head coach Josh McDaniels also likes to have a great running game but he’s had recent success making it happen. Last season, the New England Patriots ranked eighth in rushing and were third in 2020.

The Raiders run game should see a major improvement under McDaniels after ranking 28th in 2021 despite having a Pro Bowl-caliber running back in Josh Jacobs. He could be the biggest beneficiary of the new Raiders coaching staff. Kenyan Drake should also have a big year. However, the team is going to need a third running back. McDaniels could look to a couple of familiar faces in free agency to fill the role. Kevin Patra of NFL.com sees the Raiders showing interest in James White and Brandon Bolden, who won a combined five Super Bowl rings while working with McDaniels in New England:

Jacobs provides new coach Josh McDaniels the power runner he desires in his offense. Even in a down year, Jacobs still proved he can be an every-down back, and caught a career-high 54 passes. Jon Gruden had designs on Drake playing a change-of-pace role, but it never clicked. Still, with it costing $5.5 million in dead money to move on, I’d expect Drake to stick around and play the pass-catching role. It will be interesting to see what type of veteran McDaniels brings to play the buffer. Both pass-catching vet James White and reserve sledgehammer Brandon Bolden are free agents who could bring a new dimension to the offense as McDaniels installs his vision in Vegas.

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White Is Coming off Injury-Plagued Season

White has been one of the best receivers out of the backfield for years. He’s not much of a runner as he’s never had more than 425 rushing yards in a season. The vast majority of his success came when Tom Brady was still the Patriots quarterback. He only had 375 receiving yards in 2020 and only reached 94 yards last season in only three games. He missed the majority of the season with a hip injury.

At 30-years-old, there has to be a concern that White can continue to be the player he was earlier in his career. Bolden is even older at 32-years-old but doesn’t have the injury concerns. Either way, the Raiders would be wise to look at other options for their third running back.

Raiders Should Retain Jalen Richard

The Raiders already have a great option for a third running back who has been with the team. Jalen Richard has served the role for years and is actually a great fit for what McDaniels likes to do. He’s a threat in the passing game and a great blocker. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Raiders make a concerted effort to keep him.

Richard has had some injury issues over the last two seasons but is just 28-years-old and has played in 10 or more games in every season of his career. The Raiders should keep the running back around. The team has the talent to put together a great running game. McDaniels just needs to fix the offensive line.

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