Raiders Urged to ‘Poach’ Chiefs Playmaker in Free Agency

Jerick McKinnon

Getty Kansas City Chiefs RB Jerick McKinnon.

The Las Vegas Raiders are hosting the Kansas City Chiefs for the last game of the regular season. While the latter will be moving on to play in the playoffs, the former’s season will be done on Saturday. However, there’s still value for the Raiders in giving the Chiefs a tough game.

Las Vegas will likely have some big roster changes this offseason. Running back will be a key position to watch. Josh Jacobs has arguably been the team’s best player this season and has carried a vast majority of the running back workload. If the Raiders lose him, it’ll be difficult to replace. Las Vegas should keep a close eye on Chiefs running back Jerick McKinnon on Saturday. Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes the Raiders should try to “poach” the running back in free agency:

While McKinnon’s skill set is a perfect match for Andy Reid’s offense, he’d look good with the Las Vegas Raiders as well. The Raiders have a fantastic dual-threat back in Jacobs, but he’s set to become a free agent in March.

Even if the Raiders retain Jacobs, McKinnon could be a huge asset as a pass-catching complement. While backup Ameer Abdullah has averaged a solid 8.4 yards per catch, McKinnon is averaging 9.5 yards per reception this season. McKinnon’s eight receiving touchdowns are also just five fewer than the combined total of all Raiders not named Davante Adams.

Josh McDaniels Loves RBs Who Can Catch

Jacobs is a dual-threat running back but he does his best work rushing the ball. He’s been able to stay on the field this season but has dealt with a few injuries. The Raiders may be wise to bring in another running back who can catch. The team has Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden, who can both catch, but they haven’t utilized them too much this season.

Josh McDaniels loves using running back in the receiving game. Despite that, the Raiders only have two receiving touchdowns from running backs this season. McKinnon has eight so he’s proven he has a nose for the end zone when he catches the ball. If McDaniels wants an upgrade in the backfield, McKinnon would be an interesting addition.

Jacobs Talks Mindset for Final Game

It’s possible that Saturday’s game against the Chiefs will be the last time Jacobs wears silver and black. The Raiders made a blunder by declining his fifth-year option and will need to either pay him or let him walk. The franchise tag is a strong possibility but it’s difficult to know right now what the team might do with so many needs on defense.

Regardless, Jacobs is planning on taking the last game of the season as seriously as any other. He realizes that even if he stays in Las Vegas for next season, there will be a lot of players currently on the team who won’t be around.

“The only thing on my mind, really, is spending this last week with these guys,” Jacobs said after Sunday’s game. “The locker room’s going to look a lot different next year, and you don’t know who’s coming back and who’s done with football and whatnot, so I’m just trying to enjoy this time.”

Read More