The Oakland Raiders may be on the verge of losing leading rusher, Latavius Murray in Free Agency. Murray has led the team for the past two seasons but his time may be up in Silver & Black. According to most fans that’s okay with them. Murray will be expecting a huge payday in the ballpark of $6M per year. That’s too much for a player that has only one 1000 yard season to his name. He did rush for 12 touchdowns last year but as you look down the depth chart, the Raiders will be fine without him.
DeAndre Washington (87/467) is set to take over as the lead back in 2017 if the Raiders cannot snag someone else. The logical choice seems to be Adrian Peterson but the sleeper could be former Kansas City Chiefs running back, Jamaal Charles. Yes, the same Charles who was just recently released by the hated Chiefs.
Charles will meet with the Seattle Seahawks this week and will hope to have a team soon. So, does he and the Raiders have a mutual interest? If not, then they better get one quick. Charles has been hobbled by a lingering knee issue however, his games missed may be a blessing in disguise for the Raiders. At 30 years old, Charles is at that dreaded age where RBs are said to begin their decline. But Charles is not your normal player. He’s not a Reggie Bush or Larry Johnson type back that will give you a season or two of great stats and vanish. He’s proven what he can do if given the opportunity.
The Raiders have speed with Washington but what they’re lacking is a veteran runner that will fight for the extra yardage and has the hands to be a weapon in the passing game on third down. Pairing Charles with Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree will give him weapons that he’s never had while in Kansas City.
It’s the wear and tear of the workload that has him as a former shell of himself. Scouts and fans will look at injuries but not what caused them. There were at least two seasons where the Chiefs rode Charles hard, all the way to the IR. He was over-worked and the results have resulted in a pink slip for his services or lack thereof.
Signing with the Raiders will give him a chance at a breather. There will be no more 260+ carry seasons or 4 straight carries on a single drive. His time will be spilt with Washington and with the Raiders having one of the top passing offenses in the league, Charles would have help. The best part about signing Charles would be to stick it to their rivals and his price. His stock has fallen and the Raiders, if they pounce now could get him for cheap.
He’s no longer able to handle the role of a featured back but the Raiders can offer him enough snaps to make his presence felt on the field.