One of the biggest question marks remaining for the Las Vegas Raiders going into the year is the contract situation of Josh Jacobs. Both sides would like to get a long-term deal done, but it doesn’t appear they are all that close to getting anything done.
So if Jacobs were to hold out or miss any time during the 2023 season, it would really test their depth at the position. Unfortunately, the Raiders don’t have many proven options in the backfield.
In a recent article by Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report, he wrote about the three biggest weaknesses on the roster for the Raiders heading into the 2023 season. One of those weaknesses was the lack of proven depth behind Josh Jacobs at the running back position.
Here is a snippet of what he had to say about the unit and what the Raiders might do this offseason to address their need:
Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah are the most experienced backs on the roster, but the former is largely a special-teamer, while the latter hasn’t been a regular starter since 2017 with the Detroit Lions.
The Raiders’ other top backs, Zamir White and Brittain Brown, are entering their second seasons and have little pro playing experience.
It’s not an ideal situation for the Raiders, though getting Jacobs under contract could solve the issue. If that doesn’t happen, Las Vegas may have to ponder lingering free agents such as Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook.
While it’s certainly possible that the Raiders could sign another veteran running back like Elliott, Cook, or Leonard Fournette, it seems more likely that the Raiders will role with White and Brown during camp. The hope is for one of those two players to step up so they don’t have to sign an aging back in free agency.
It’s hard to disagree that the running back depth looks a bit shaky behind Jacobs, there has been a lot of positive buzz about White this offseason. If he can make a Year 2 leap, this unit has a chance to be one of the best in the league. But if he doesn’t, that’s when you can expect the Raiders to explore the veteran running back market in free agency.