There were rumors that the Oakland Raiders would not try to resign their star running back Latavius Murray. As his free agency began, they ended up letting him walk. The 6 foot three back will not be playing for the Raiders next season.
Instead, he will become a part of the Minnesota Vikings. He is expected to serve as their running back. He signed with Minnesota on Thursday to a three-year deal, according to Fox Sports. The Oakland Raiders decided to move on from Murray.
It comes as a questionable move. It leaves their running game fractured. In the remaining months of the off-season the Raiders will have one primary goal. They will have to begin their hunt for a new running back, a replacement.
On the market right now, it is slim when it comes to backs. While the Murray day worked out great for the Vikings, it does not have the same effect for the Raiders and a certain player that has held down the Vikings running game for years.
There is another party that Murray’s deal with the Vikings might not end up working out well for, Adrian Peterson. Murray could potentially be his replacement. With Minnesota signing a new back, it makes the chances of Peterson returning seem unlikely.
He may have to begin his search for a new team and time is working against him. If Minnesota does not pick Peterson back up, it would not come as a shocking move. His past couple of seasons playing for the Vikings have been far from perfect.
Health has been one of the biggest obstacles in the way for Peterson. Age may not be helping his case either, he is turning 32-years-old in just a week. He is a 30 plus year-old running back that is without a team, and not coming off a strong year statistically, with a recent history of injury. Finding his next home may not be an easy process.
There is one team that he could make a great fit to. With Murray off to the Vikings, it opened up a slot on the Raiders’ roster. That is a slot that Peterson could fill in. There is a gaping hole in their offense after failing to resign Murray. They need to fill that hole in and soon.
Oakland had a strong season last year. They finished off the year as the second place team of the AFC West tied 12-4 with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was enough to secure a slot in the Wild Card game but they were eliminated by the Houston Texans. Next season the Raiders want to have a longer playoff appearance, and deciding who their back will be could be a crucial factor.
Could the Raiders pursue Peterson? Should the Oakland Raiders move quick? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Commentary by Cody Macleod