Latavius Murray is set to be a UFA after he concluded his second full season as the Raiders’ starting running back. Murray said Sunday his agent and the Raiders have discussed an extension, Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News reports. While “nothing is concrete” at this point, Murray intimated his desire to remain with the franchise that drafted him.
“I don’t think I ever want to be a guy who bounces around or things like that,” Murray said. “I’d love to finish my career here. I think says a lot about any player who’s able to stay in one place. I’d love to finish what I started, but I know how things could go.”
The former sixth-round pick did not have quite as big a role in the Raiders’ offense as he did in 2015, when he became the first Raider since Darren McFadden in 2010 to surpass 1,000 rushing yards. Murray amassed 788 yards this season and matched the 4.0 per-carry figure of 2015 but saw rookies Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington eat into his workload. Each surpassing 400 ground yards and eclipsed five yards per handoff, but Murray doubled his 2015 touchdown total by rushing for 12 this season.
The cheaper option would obviously be for the Raiders to go with the younger, quicker backs and allow another team to pay Murray, but the Raiders do stand to possess more than $51MM in cap space. Jack Del Rio points to a Derek Carr extension factoring into the Raiders’ free agency plans.
“You can’t keep everybody. You can’t pay everybody,” Del Rio said, via McDonald. “Especially once you start paying your quarterback what he’s going to end up making. I’m sure it will be a pretty nice amount. We’ve been able to do more other places because we haven’t had to put a lot in the quarterback number. As that number goes up, that will limit some of the things you have to do.”
A Carr extension might not come until after the major free agency period concludes, complicating matters. The Raiders will see Malcolm Smith and Menelik Watson join Murray as UFA starters. Murray will accompany Le’Veon Bell and Eddie Lacy as 2013 draftees set for free agency. Before cuts, they probably stand to be the top UFA backs available. Although, Bell is unlikely to reach the market since the Steelers plan to apply the franchise tag to him.
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