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Which free agent can the Raiders not afford to lose?

The Raiders have some big decisions to make in free agency this year. Their All-Pro running back is set to hit the open market and it appears that they aren’t closer to signing him to a long-term deal than they were at this time last year.

But Josh Jacobs isn’t the only big name scheduled to hit free agency. Starting right tackle Jermaine Eleuemunor is also one of their top free agents and he has turned into a quality player for Las Vegas. But he isn’t the free agent that the Raiders can’t afford to lose.

In a recent article by Pro Football Focus, they named every team’s top free agent heading into March. For the Raiders, that was none other than center Andre James. Here is why PFF believes the Raiders can’t afford to lose James in free agency:

Turning the center position over to James and trading stalwart veteran Rodney Hudson to the Arizona Cardinals turned out to be a remarkable bet from the Raiders, and Las Vegas should keep James in the fold to help Aidan O’Connell or whoever is under center as the future franchise quarterback in Las Vegas.

James earned career-best marks as both a pass protector and run blocker in 2023, grading out above 70.0 in both facets with proficiency on zone and gap rushes, as well.

It’s really hard to find quality centers in the NFL and they don’t hit the free-agent market very often. The Raiders would be wise to lock up James now before a bidding war happens for his services in March.

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Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire