Moving onto the next position in this series, we examine whether the Raiders have a need at the running back position. Here are the players currently on the team:
The second-year back broke out late last season and showed a lot of promise. He had six carries in the first nine games combined, and had been phased out completely for four weeks midseason. In week 11, he finally began receiving carries and immediately made an impact. He missed a game with a concussion which means over a six game stretch, he carried the ball 76 times for 413 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns. He also added 17 catches for 143 yards.
Darren McFadden (UFA)
He was brought back on a one-year deal and was ineffective over much of the season, eventually losing his starting job to Murray. He led the team in starts among running backs (12) and carries (155) but had just 110 more yards on the season than Murray who started just four games and had less than half as many carries. McFadden finished averaging the same yards per carry (3.4) he has the past two seasons. Which is an astounding 2 yards per carry less than Murray.
Signed a three-year deal which pays him $2.5 million per season. He appeared in 12 games last season and didn't crack 100 yards... total. He ran for 96 yards on the season on 43 carries. That's an average of 2.2 yards per carry, folks. At that salary and lack of production it seems unlikely he returns.
George Atkinson III
Was on the practice squad most of last season. When he was called up it was as a special teamer on returns and coverage. He wasn't used as a running back.
Former CFL star showed some promise in camp and may have been a tough decision come the final roster cutdown, but he went out injured and was placed on injured reserve. He will get another shot next training camp to earn a spot on the team.