The Raiders paid big money to acquire Rodney Husdon. It’s a smart move, but it’s hard for a center to make a splash in free agency.
The Raiders are still trying to do so. They've shown legitimate interest in Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, a league source told CSN Bay Area on Tuesday afternoon.
And no, adding third-down back Roy Helu is not expected to stop the Raiders’ pursuit of the NFL rushing champion.
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Grabbing Murray would constitute a big move by any measurement. After all, Murray is a big deal. The aforementioned source said the Raiders are willing to invest heavily in Murray, and national reports indicate that the Raiders are becoming more of a player in the competition for his services. Reports indicate that the Jacksonville Jaguars, Philadelphia Eagles and obviously the Cowboys are competing for Murray. Can the Raiders land this whale? Should they?
There is, however, reason to be skeptical about mutual interest between team and player. The Raiders have plenty of money to invest in Murray, and his representatives know it. The Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars could be used as leverage to elevate his market value, with an intention of forcing Dallas or another team to pay up.
The Raiders are in a great position should they choose to make a big-money offer. They currently have the most salary cap space. They can front-load the contract and give him significant portions of the overall deal within the first few seasons. That might be beneficial for both, considering Murray’s money would come early and the Raiders could pay the 27-year old soon without lingering money on the back end of the deal. Murray could be really pushing for a big contract in what could be his last chance to cash in.
General manager Reggie McKenzie is looking for a veteran rushing to pair with young incumbent Latavius Murray, a third-year pro the Raiders believe can be a productive back in this league.
DeMarco Murray’s production is well documented. His best season was his last, with 1,845 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on a whopping 392 carries. It’s hard to sustain success after such a workload, but Latavius Murray could spell him some and help sustain his efficiency.
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He has thrived in a zone-blocking scheme, and is not a perfect fit for the power rushing offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plans to implement. Murray might work better in other locales, especially with a return to Dallas and the Cowboys’ dominant offensive line.
Time will tell whether the Raiders are respected contenders or a pawn designed to raise Murray’s payday from another team. But there’s no doubting the fact that the Raiders have been trying to bring in a bigger name. They still, however, haven’t locked one down.