June 15, 2024

Major Reason Why Raiders Should Not Fret Over Ex-RB Josh Jacobs’ Departure

The Las Vegas Raiders lost three-time 1,000-yard rusher Josh Jacobs earlier this offseason, so how will the offense respond in 2024? We have the major reason.

Former Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs departed the Silver and Black for Green Bay in March. Jacobs recently claimed on former NFL defensive end Chris Long’s “Green Light” podcast that the team did not attempt to sit him down to discuss staying in Las Vegas.

Regardless of the validity of those claims, Jacobs is gone and so are his talents as a 1,000-yard rusher. A recent article from Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports listed each NFL team’s most “notable” departure of the 2024 offseason, and Jacobs was named as Sullivan’s pick for the Raiders.

Sullivan defined “notable” as players or coaches that had a “significant impact” on their teams. Sullivan noted that the players and coaches listed “could also simply represent the end of a specific era for that club as well.”

“After five seasons and a move from Oakland to Las Vegas, Josh Jacobs’ tenure with the Raiders ended this offseason,” Sullivan wrote. “In the early moments of free agency, the Pro Bowl running back signed a lucrative deal with the Green Bay Packers. Jacobs had three 1,000-yard seasons with the Raiders, including a league-leading rushing campaign in 2022.”

Sullivan noted Jacobs’ likely replacement as the primary ball carrier, third-year running back Zamir White. White has embraced the role, calling it a “blessing” and having fun learning the new offense.

Jan 7, 2024; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Zamir White (35) is pushed out of bounds by Denver Broncos linebacker Drew Sanders (41) during the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Raider Nation should be encourated with the hungry and durable White in the fold, and ready to carry the rock primarily for the Silver and Black.

“Last year was last year, and now I’m in this new role, and it’s a whole new ground
for me,” White said at OTA. “So, just keep on grinding it out, working, learning from the backs in the room and just progress … Last year my role was more like a quiet guy just like, when they need me, I’m here … But now I have to grow back into that vocal leader and I’m just showing them on the field, every single day.”

White will lead a running back room that includes veteran leader Ameer Abdullah and offseason signee Alex Mattison. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy referred to the group as explosive, tough, and hard-working.

White was named by Pro Football Focus as the Raiders’ top breakout candidate. In 2023, White had over 100 carries for 451 yards and a touchdown. Last season, Mattison had a career season with the Minnesota Vikings, registering 700 rushing yards with 192 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

The two running backs have the potential to adequately fulfill or exceed Jacobs’ role. White and Mattison will round out an offense that got stronger this offseason with additions to the offensive line like Cody Whitehair and Andrus Peat through free agency. Jackson Powers-Johnson was a steal from the draft.

The Raiders already had an explosive wide receiver trio in All-Pro Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyer, and Tre Tucker, but the addition of generational tight end Brock Bowers will give the Silver and Black a new layer to the offense. Bowers will team up with 2023 second-round pick Michael Mayer to form what could be a potentially dominant tight end duo.

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