Could the Raiders turn the backfield over to RB Zamir White?
One of the most interesting decisions that the Raiders made last offseason was declining the fifth-year option for RB Josh Jacobs. It was a curious move at the time as Jacobs had been a productive player in each of the first three years with the team.
Jacobs went on to have the best season of his career in 2022, leading the NFL in rushing yards as he was named a first-team All-Pro selection. However, that still doesn’t guarantee that he will be back with the team in 2023.
Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels have long preferred to not spend money at the running back position and usually implement a healthy running back by committee approach. So if Jacobs does leave, could it be second-year player Zamir White who takes over as the lead back in Las Vegas?
In a recent article by Kevin Patra of NFL.com, he listed every team’s running back need going into the offseason. The Raiders ranked high, but he wrote about the possibility of White taking over for Jacobs in 2023:
“Will the Raiders use the franchise tag to ensure Jacobs is around for at least one more season? At $10 million for an RB, it’s not an exorbitant short-term cost to secure the league’s leading rusher, and Jacobs fit well in Josh McDaniels’ offense.
Jacobs’ exit would sap an offense that already has major questions. But the current Raiders brass also spent a fourth-round pick on White last year and might want to see how he responds to a larger role after getting just 17 touches in 2022.”
White is a no-nonsense runner who gets downhill in a hurry. He’s certainly not as complete as a player as Jacobs, but he does show a lot of power and explosiveness.
If the Raiders do move on from Jacobs, expect them to add another running back early in the draft to pair with White. But don’t be surprised if the Raiders are more than fine rolling with White as their lead back in 2023 after spending a fourth-round pick on him last season.
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