RAIDERS TRADE: Raiders Re-Sign Key Player Before Start of Free…

Raiders Re-Sign Key Player Before Start of Free Agency.

The Las Vegas Raiders have made their first notable signing of the offseason. The team announced on March 8 that they’ve re-signed running back Ameer Abdullah.

Abdullah was brought in by the previous regime but he clearly impressed head coach Antonio Pierce enough to earn another contract. Though he only carried the ball 15 times last season, he was the Raiders’ third down back for much of the year. He caught 19 passes and thrived as a blocker.

Abdullah has been in the NFL since 2015 and will be 31 before the start of the season. He’s longing later than many journeyman running backs. He should still have plenty of value to the Raiders as their third down back, especially with Brandon Bolden headed to free agency.

He won’t bring much to the rushing game. He hasn’t rushed the ball more than 51 times in a season since 2017. He’ll do most of his damage in the passing game. New offensive coordinator Luke Getsy led a top-two rushing offense in each of the last two seasons so he wants to continue that trend. Abdullah isn’t going to rush the ball much but he should have a significant role in the offense.

What About Josh Jacobs?

Ameer Abdullah isn’t the only Raiders running back who was set for free agency. Starting running back Josh Jacobs hasn’t signed an extension and the team decided against using the franchise tag on him.

For the first time in his career, he’ll be able to test free agency. Jacobs has expressed interest in staying in Las Vegas but it’ll be much easier for teams to try and lure him away once free agency starts. Jacobs is just a year removed from leading the NFL with 1,652 rushing yards.

He’s proven to be one of the top running backs in the league. The Raiders know this more than any other team and appear committed to retaining him.

“I do want to establish a philosophy with the Raiders that we like to re-sign our own,” general manager Tom Telesco said during his February 27 press conference at the NFL Scouting Combine. “Doesn’t bother me that I didn’t draft him. He’s a Raider and he was drafted by the Raiders and he’s a high-level player. So, yeah, we’re going to explore pretty hard to see if we can bring him back here and kind of go from there.”

As the general manager of the Los Angeles Chargers, Telesco had notable contract disputes with star running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler so he doesn’t have a great track record of paying running backs.

Las Vegas Raiders Will Face Competition for Josh Jacobs

The Raiders won’t be the only team hoping to sign Josh Jacobs this offseason. There are plenty of teams that could use a running back of his caliber. Teams like the Chicago Bears that have quarterbacks on rookie contracts could be willing to spend a bit more money.

It’ll be tough for the Raiders to compete with a big contract despite having plenty of salary cap space. There’s a really good chance Jacobs is playing elsewhere next season but it’s still too early to rule out Las Vegas.


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