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Raiders 5 most significant impending free agents

Las Vegas’ rushing attack could take a big hit in the offseason

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Jacobs
Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images

The offseason is officially underway for the Las Vegas Raiders which means free agency is just around the corner. While this time of year provides opportunities to play matchmaker by digging through the list of impending free agents to find who fits the Raiders’ needs, it also means a few players will leave Las Vegas in the spring.

Listed in no particular order, below are the Silver and Black’s five most significant impending free agents that the organization will have to make some tough decisions on. Included are each player’s stats and previous contract as well as a few potential replacement options on the open market.

For clarity, the player’s contract must expire at the beginning of the new league year—early March—to qualify.

Josh Jacobs

2023 Stats: 233 rushes, 805 rushing yards (3.5 ypa), 6 rushing TDs, 37 catches, 296 receiving yards

Previous contract (via Spotrac): 1 year, $11.8 million

It’s no secret that Josh Jacobs had the worst year of his career this past season. In addition to the numbers above, the majority of which are personal worsts, he had a career-low in yards after contact (574) and missed tackles forced as a rusher (28), per Pro Football Focus. The latter is especially concerning as it was his fewest by 23, and he was significantly inefficient after contact with 2.35 YCO per attempt, almost half a yard worse than his previous career low—2.82 in 2020.

Granted, all of that combined with Zamir White’s emergence at the end of the campaign decreases the significance of Jacobs’ impending free agency. However, has been a focal point of the Raiders’ offense since he was drafted, and the team currently only has a young back to turn to replace the 2022 rushing champion.

RB free agent options: D’Andre Swift (PHI), Antonio Gibson (WSH), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (KC) (full list)

Andre James

Kansas City Chiefs v Las Vegas Raiders
Andre James
Photo by Candice Ward/Getty Images

2023 Stats (via PFF): 74.6 overall grade, 75.0 run-blocking grade, 71.2 pass-blocking grade, 19 pressures allowed (four sacks)

Previous contract (via Spotrac): 2 years, $8.65 million

If Jacobs’ departure is a foregone conclusion, then what to do with Andre James will likely be the front office’s biggest decision when it comes to in-house free agents. The grades listed above are all career highs for James and ranked ninth, 11th and 10th, respectively, among centers during the regular season.

However, the five-year veteran has spent the majority of his tenure teetering on the slightly above-average to good tier among the league’s centers, meaning the team could do worse than him but could also do better. So, this might be a situation where Las Vegas tests the waters when the market opens and sees if it can land a bigger fish.

C free agent options: Connor Williams (MIA), Aaron Brewer (TEN), Tyler Biadasz (DAL) (full list)

Jermaine Eluemunor

2023 Stats (via PFF): 68.5 overall grade, 71.5 run-blocking grade, 64.4 pass-blocking grade, 28 pressures allowed (six sacks)

Previous contract (via Spotrac): 1 year, $3 million

Jermaine Eluemunor wasn’t quite able to replicate the success he had in 2022 this season. Despite logging about 30 fewer snaps in pass protection, he surrendered a couple more pressures and double the amount of sacks this time around. Also, the grades above were all lower than last year.

That being said, Eluemunor has proved to be a serviceable starting right tackle during these last two seasons. Similar to James, it’s just a matter of what direction the organization wants to go in as Thayer Munford, or a draft pick, certainly has a brighter future than the 29-year-old.

RT free agent options: Isaiah Wynn (MIA), Josh Jones (HOU), Yosh Nijman (GB) (full list)

Greg Van Roten

2023 Stats (via PFF): 75.3 overall grade, 68.5 run-blocking grade, 77.4 pass-blocking grade, 21 pressures allowed (five sacks)

Previous contract (via Spotrac): 1 year, $1.6 million

After signing late in free agency and for the veteran’s minimum, Greg Van Roten was a pleasant surprise for the Raiders in 2023. The grades above ranked seventh, 16th and eighth, respectively, among guards during the regular season which was a massive upgrade from what the team had at right guard the year before.

However, Van Roten is in a similar spot as Eluemunor in that his age is an issue. He turns 34 at the end of February and is coming off the best season of his career, meaning some regression should be expected. Especially since Las Vegas already has tough decisions to make with James and Eluemunor, it’s hard to imagine Van Roten will be back for year two.

G free agent options: Robert Hunt (MIA), Jonah Jackson (DET), Kevin Dotson (LAR) (full list)

John Jenkins

2023 Stats: 61 total tackles (24 solo), 4 TFL, 1 sack, 4 PD

Previous contract (via Spotrac): 1 year, $1.32 million

Almost everything that was said about Van Roten could be repeated with John Jenkins. The defensive tackle posted the most tackles of his career with 12 more than his previous high, 49 back in 2015. He was also the team’s best run defender on the interior defensive line. But, similar to GVR, Jenkins turns 35 years old in the offseason.

What could work in the veteran’s favor is that the Raiders have two other impending free agents at defensive tackle—Bilal Nichols and Adam Butler. Also, the position group lacks talent as Jerry Tillery, Matthew Butler and Byron Young will be the only DTs left on the active roster from this season.

So, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for Las Vegas to bring Jenkins back on another one-year deal and still target other players at the position in free agency and the draft, especially if he’s willing to sign another cheap contract.

DT free agent options: Chris Jones (KC), Christian Wilkins (MIA), Justin Madubuike (BAL) (full list)