Las Vegas Raiders starters that could be benched in 2022
This is a hard one to believe. A 24-year-old running back who started his career as the best rookie back in Raider history.
At only 24 years of age, it would seem that his best days are well in front of him. However, after back-to-back dismal seasons and increasingly aggravating injury history, just maybe the Raiders are ready to close the door on the Josh Jacobs story.
It is a bit concerning the Raiders rewarding contract extensions to fellow 2019 draft class members Hunter Renfrow and Maxx Crosby; while declining the option on Jacobs for another season.
Also the selection of Zamir “Zeus” White. White is a three-down back who was a shocking fall to the Raiders in the fourth round. He had 2nd-3rd round talent and was the top running back on last season’s NCAA champions the Georgia Bulldogs. He will factor into the Raiders’ plans on day one, and he either spells the end of backup Kenyan Drake’s brief stint with the franchise, or he spells the answer to the complicated Josh Jacobs dilemma.
Jacobs has possibly the most to prove this season amongst all Raider players. Entering a contract year, and not receiving full support from the Raider franchise, he may be on his way out as the Raiders look to build a completely new roster under a new regime.
His 2021 season was his worst as a pro, and although he missed some time with injuries and played nearly the entirety of the season banged up, the play of the offensive line hardly ever opened much-running space for the bruising back. Whatever the true cause is of the back and his premature downfall, the Raiders drafting White while declining the option on Jacobs for another season is rather concerning, to say the least.
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Jacobs needs to show he is the bruiser he was when he entered the league while restoring faith from the franchise in him. Hopefully, this is the case, because with a new regime with no ties to Jacobs, and a powerful young back waiting in the wings in White, the Raiders may be totally fine moving on from their former first-round selection.