Latavius Murray Cemented in the Raiders’ Future Plans.
Buy (If the price is right).
With lead back Latavius Murray (26) nearing the end of his rookie contract with Oakland, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie will decide to either let Murray test the free agent market in 2017 or keep the “Tay Train” on track with the Raiders.
After Murray’s strong performance against Denver, McKenzie should lean towards the latter.
Murray rolled over the Broncos’ defense for a season-high 114 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns on 20 carries.
With rookie backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington adding a change of pace to Oakland’s backfield, Murray’s play has dramatically improved, effectively turning what was the 28th ranked rushing offense (91.1 YPG) in 2015 into the 4th ranked rushing attack (127.8 YPG) through nine games this season.
Murray leads Oakland’s three-headed monster with 89 carries for 393 yards and 8 touchdowns.
On the other hand, Oakland’s offensive line has done a majority of the work for the Raiders’ ball carriers, as they have opened up massive running lanes all season long, and 2017 NFL draft class is loaded with NFL-caliber talent that could have similar success behind the Raiders’ big, physical offensive line.
With that being said, if Murray allows other teams to swell his ego, his asking price could push McKenzie off of the “Tay Train”, especially with the Raiders’ other franchise pieces (Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, Gabe Jackson) expected to earn lucrative contracts in the near future.
Because of his recent efforts, Murray has asserted himself as a priority free agent signing for McKenzie this offseason, and he should return to the Raiders barring that he doesn’t value greenbacks over the Silver and Black when the season comes to a close.