This year's free agent class could be the most prolific in NFL history. There are superstars that appear ready to become free agents at many different positions, but there is one specifically that the Raiders must go after if he becomes available. If DeMarco Murray reaches the open market, the Oakland Raiders need to break the bank to get him.
Many of you reading this expected the answer to be Ndamukong Suh, he is another super star player that the Raiders should go after if he becomes available. However, DeMarco Murray does something that Suh does not. Signing Murray would give the Raiders the best backfield in the NFL, signing Suh would not give the Raiders the best defensive line in the NFL.
There are few times where signing one player allows a team to become the best in the league at a single position, players of that caliber rarely hit the open market and when they do they rarely are at a position where one player can change everything so dramatically. However, that is exactly the case for the running back position.
Latavius Murray, the Raiders current starter at running back, is a very good prospect. We do not know if he will be able to perform consistently the way that he did this past season, but the signs point to him being a true starter quality running back. Pairing him with arguably the best running back in all of football immediately creates the best duo in the NFL.
The running back position is the most devalued position in the NFL currently, it is to the point where running backs often make the same or even less than kickers and punters. People believe you can find quality, productive running backs late in the draft and that they are no longer a position to use substantial funds on. Latavius Murray himself is a 6th round selection, seemingly proving the point.
However, having the ability to have the best group at the RB position in the NFL is something worth paying for. Being the best at something is worth the investment, even in a world where the perceived value of the running back position is far less than what it would take to sign DeMarco. This would be an opportunity for the Raiders to create the most dominant backfield in the game, that type of chance does not come around often.
The fact that this opportunity is presenting itself at a time when the running back position is so devalued and the Raiders have such a large amount of cap space creates the chance for the Raiders to be a front runner for his services. The other teams are likely to lowball offer Murray, like the Cowboys did, because the position is devalued across the NFL. The Raiders have enough money to make the largest offer without it drastically effecting the rest of their free agency.
Jerry Jones has made it clear that Dez Bryant is the top priority for the Cowboys and that it is "unreasonable" to believe that they will be able to afford both Murray and Bryant. That means there is a very good chance that DeMarco will hit the open market. If that happens the Raiders should pay whatever it takes to get him, because this is their chance to have the best backfield in football.
That is worth the investment, despite the market putting the value of the running back position at an all time low. Plus, for entertainment purposes, having two very good running backs with the last name Murray creates an ample amount of nick name choices. That is a completely worthless part of this on the Raiders part, but it would be still be fun!