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A look at possible free agent running backs for the Raiders to sign

A look at possible free agent running backs for the Raiders to sign

The Oakland Raiders seem to have a solid running back in Latavius Murray, who made his first Pro Bowl last season. That said, the Raiders lacked production from the backup running back position in Taiwan Jones and Roy Helu, Jr. 

Let's take a look at some of the free agent running backs this free agency season.

Doug Martin, Buccaneers

Doug Martin is coming off of a bounceback year, rushing for 1,402 yards and six touchdowns while averagine 4.9 yards per carry. The Northern California native first bounced onto the scene as a rookie, rushing for 1,454 yards in 2012.

Martin is also a solid pass catcher who will be a threat out of the backfield for whatever team signs him. The question in Martin is whether last season was outperforming because it was a contract year, as he struggled mightily in 2013 and 2014. 

He certainly adds value for the Raiders as they'd have two very capable backs, but it could be difficult to find enough snaps between Murray and Martin.

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins

Lamar Miller is a solid running back that has remained relatively consistent. Miller is just 24 years old and finished with 872 rushing yards and 4.5 yards per carry on a Miami team that struggled to get the ball moving and lacked continuity. The Dolphins also avoided giving him the ball, handing the ball off to him single digits six separate times this season.

He's proven to be a capable starter when given the opportunity, rushing for 1,971 yards and 19 total touchdowns in the last two seasons as a full-time starter.

He seems likely to hit the market since the Dolphins have less money to play with in free agency.Alfred Morris, Redskins

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins

Alfred Morris rushed for over 1,600 yards his rookie season, followed up by 1,300 yards the next season. His play has dropped off since then. Morris is coming off his worst season, gaining just 751 rushing yards and one touchdown, on 3.7 yards per carry.

The prospect of signing Morris is interesting due to the fact that he's had success in the NFL, but saw his role decreased last season. He's not an explosive back but has always showed the ability to get positive yards on the ground.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears

Matt Forte has been one of the most dependable running backs in the NFL since entering, but he's now 31 years old. He's a dangerous running back that still has the burst to make a big play, both when pounding the rock and hauling in a pass. 

Forte had 898 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games for the Bears last season. There's no doubt that the veteran would be a nice presence in the locker room for the Raiders, especially with Murray there to learn. The question is how will his body maintain for another year.

Chris Ivory, New York Jets

Chris Ivory is arguably the NFL's hardest runner, leading the AFC with 1,070 yards to edge out Murray for the feat. He'll be one of the most-coveted running backs along with those listed above and he has never had the chance to earn a real paycheck in free agency - he was traded in 2013 and signed a three-year, $6 million contract as a restricted free agent.

Ivory will want to start wherever he is, which would mean the Raiders would have to keep Murray in a complimentary situation. They two backs are also fairly similar, making me think there won't be an Ivory-Murray pairing.

Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals

Chris Johnson is an interesting prospect due to the speed he possesses and his recent career rejuvination with the Cardinals after barely seeing the field with the Jets in 2014. 

Johnson will be 31 years old next season but still appears to have some burst in his run. It seems like it would be best to offer him a short-term contract in hopes of keeping his motivation up. Not sure Reggie McKenzie would want to sign a back with baggage like Johnson, but his speed would be a nice compliment to Murray.

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos

Ronnie Hillman is coming off of the best season of his career, finishing with 863 yards and seven touchdowns. He's just 25 years old and would fit the Raiders offense well due to his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. 

The former San Diego State star possesses solid speed and would compliment the bigger Murray quite nicely. The only question is whether or not he's ready to make the next step in his career and be more than the rotational player he's been in Denver.

James Starks, Green Bay Packers

James Starks has spent the last six years as the backup in Green Bay and simply outperformed starter Eddie Lacy last season when given the opportunity. Starks finished the season with 601 yards and two touchdowns but looked to be a strong play. 

He's got solid speed that gives him the ability to take anything to the end zone, and is very much a capable receiver out of the backfield. Starks is 30 years old though, but still has plenty of tread on his tires as he has primarily been a backup throughout his six-year career.

Other notable free agent running backs (pending franchise tag): LaGarrette Blount (NE), Bilal Powell (Jets), Reggie Bush (49ers), 


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