Las Vegas Raiders: AFC South 2021 free agents to ‘steal’
Duke Johnson could fill a need as a backup RB
If the Raiders choose to release Jalen Richard to save $3.5 million in cap space, a potential option for them as a backup running back could be Duke Johnson from the Houston Texans. Johnson started his career with the Cleveland Browns as a third-round pick out of Miami in 2015 and has flashed all sorts of ability ever since.
Used primarily as a receiving and third-down back in Cleveland, Johnson averaged close to 60 receptions and 550 yards receiving in his four years with the Browns. He had fewer than 100 carries in 3 out of 4 seasons and started just ten games during that span but scored 13 touchdowns.
In Houston the last two seasons, Johnson played in 27 of 32 games and was less effective in 2020 than he was in 2019, but still showed plenty of ability as a receiver with 72 catches for 659 yards and four touchdowns. He is clearly not a starting back at the NFL level, and if he were to come to Las Vegas, it would be only as a replacement to Jalen Richard as they have a similar skill set.
Johnson could also be available on the cheap after becoming a free agent this offseason. There is no immediate need for a player like Johnson in Las Vegas at the moment but he could fill a potential need if corresponding moves are made to free up cap space.