Raiders Predicted as Trade Destination for ‘Angry’ Demoted Star RB

Raiders potential trade target Dameon Pierce

Getty Raiders potential trade target Dameon Pierce

If you watched the last quarter of the 2023 season, it might not be a huge surprise to find that the Raiders were willing to part ways with running back Josh Jacobs, who was injured for the final four games of the year in a capper to a mostly disappointing season. A year after leading the NFL in yardage, Jacobs came back with just 805 yards rushing in 13 games, as the Raiders offense struggled for most of 2023.

Still, if you listened to coach Antonio Pierce profess his admiration for Jacobs on a weekly basis, the fact that the team let him walk is, indeed, a surprise. Pierce vowed to make Jacobs and the running game his focus. But in those final four games, something else happened—second-year man Zamir White emerged, posting 397 rushing yards from Weeks 15-18. Thus, Jacobs is gone and White is the man entering 2024.

Still, White is a fourth-round pick who is still an unknown commodity. The Raiders backed him up with Vikings free agent Alexander Mattison, but still could use another option to back up White or even challenge him for the starting role. And at Pro Football Focus, they have an ideal way to do that: A trade for Texans back Dameon Pierce.

Dameon Pierce Struggled After Breakout With Texans

Dameon Pierce seemed to establish himself as a potential star when he was a rookie, as he rushed for a respectable 939 yards in 13 games, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. His 2022 season, though, ended when he suffered an ankle injury that held him out of the final four games of the season.

Pierce totaled four rushing touchdowns and added 165 yards receiving out of the backfield, with another touchdown. The Texans appeared prepared to make him a key part of the offense in 2023, but he lost out on carries to free-agent signing Devin Singletary.

Pierce is only 24 years old. He should still have some gas in the tank.

But last season, he took a strange step backward. Pierce averaged only 2.9 yards per carry and played only 32% of the team’s snaps. Given his otuh and past success, though, he is a prime trade candidate for teams that don’t land the running back they want in the draft this week.

Here’s what Marcus Mosher wrote at PFF: “The Texans have since added Joe Mixon and rewarded him with a new contract. He will be their starter in 2024 and beyond, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Texans draft a running back with some speed to complement him. …

“Luckily for Pierce, this is a pretty weak running back class, and there could be a handful of teams looking for a competent starter in the trade market. Teams in need of a starting-caliber running back could be interested in flipping a late Day 3 pick for Pierce, who best fits a gap scheme.”

Raiders Likely to Add a Running Back

The Raiders have a number of holes to fill in the upcoming draft, and it would make sense if they used a late-round pick on a running back to add some depth to the RB room. But Pierce, who runs to contact and won the 2022 “Angry Run of the Year” given by the Good Morning Football show on NFL Network, might be a better alternative.

The Athletic’s seven-round mock for the Raiders has them landing Washington’s Dillon Johnson in the seventh round, and’s seven-rounder has the Raiders with Ray Davis from Kentucky in the fourth round.

Raiders Wire has the team landing Marshall’s former NCAA-leader Rasheen Ali in the sixth round.

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