Raiders Set to Sign 2-Time Super Bowl Champion RB: Report

brandon bolden

Getty New Las Vegas Raiders RB Brandon Bolden.

It’s a new era for the Las Vegas Raiders. General manager Dave Ziegler has already been getting off of a number of big free-agent signings from the Jon Gruden era and is bringing in some familiar faces. The team recently struck a deal with former New England Patriots All-Pro pass rusher Chandler Jones. That wasn’t the last former Patriot the Raiders are signing.

The team is also expected to sign running back Brandon Bolden, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

This is perhaps the least surprising move the Raiders will make this offseason. When head coach Josh McDaniels was with the Patriots, the team consistently utilized running backs who can block and catch. Bolden had 41 catches for 405 receiving yards last season with the coach. He won’t bring much to the running game as his career-high for rushing yards came all the way back in 2012 when he had 274. He will mostly be coming on passing downs. He’s a strong blocker and receiver and was part of two of the Patriots’ Super Bowl-winning teams.

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Is This the End for Jalen Richard?

The Raiders have had a really good third-down running back for the last several years in Jalen Richard. The former undrafted free agent quickly made a name for himself on the team and was one of the few players Gruden ended up keeping from the Jack Del Rio era. Had the Raiders not landed Bolden, they should’ve strongly considered bringing Richard back. He had a career-high of 68 receptions in 2018 but saw those numbers go down each year.

McDaniels likely saw Bolden as the safer bet due to his familiarity with the running back. It’s still possible that the team decides to bring Richard back but with Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake not going anywhere, there isn’t any room. Richard should definitely land on his feet. He’s a great change of pace back who make big plays out of the backfield.

Raiders Tried to Sign James White

McDaniels clearly wanted to bring in a running back he was familiar with. Bolden and James White were the obvious targets. It appears that the Raiders were hoping to get White over Bolden. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Las Vegas “showed the most interest” in White along with the Patriots. However, the veteran decided to stay put instead of reuniting with McDaniels.

It’s certainly interesting that the Raiders would make a push for White. He’s coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season but has consistently been one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL. Bolden has often played second fiddle to White over the years. This might be better for the team. Drake is plenty capable of being a dynamic receiver out of the backfield and there’s no sense in paying two backup running backs good money. Bolden should fit right into the Raiders offense and be an asset for McDaniels as he starts to teach his new players the scheme.

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