Heading into the 2015 season, Roy Helu was playing so well for the Oakland Raiders the team released Trent Richardson, an unfortunate dissapointment, as a result. They opted to go with Latavius Murray and Helu as their running back rotation in hopes of revamping the run game. seems the powers that be knew what they were doing...to an extent. Part of that worked out as Murray enjoyed a breakout season as the leading rusher while Helu drifted into the shadows. Now with the free agent market stacked with talent at the running back position, will Helu be a one-and-done in Oakland?
Helu comes with a $2 million cap hit in 2016. That is certainly an easy salary to manage considering the amount of cap space the Oakland Raiders are preparing to have. However, the running back did not impress in his first season with the team, putting up a total of 39 yards on the ground and 75 yards through the air as playing time began to disappear. In the moment, Helu's struggles were overlooked since Murray was putting up career-high numbers, but as the Raiders look to continue the improvement they need an upgrade over the running back.
According to another news source, Helu risks getting released if the Oakland Raiders can get an upgrade in the coming free agency. The team has been linked to a number of veteran players heading into the offseason. Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte and Arian Foster have all been listed as options for the team to look at as they would replace Helu on the depth chart. one news source noted that the Raiders could target a veteran at the position who would benefit from splitting carries with Murray. Heading into 2016, Murray has most certainly secured his spot as the teams starting running back going into next season and now the Raiders simply need to find a solid well balanced compliment for him.
"I have to continue to do the things I need to do so I'm producing, I'm playing my best," Murray said, via the Raider team website. "To be honest, because like I said, I felt that I left so much out there. To me, it didn't feel like a 1,000-yard season. There were games where there was absolutely nothing. For me, I just know I want to get better. I know that if I can move it 1,000 yards with that kind of season, then there's a lot more out there for me."
Recently NFL teams are getting away from the traditional workhorse running back and favoring a rotation. The Oakland Raiders did not have that in 2015 and while Murray tried to help make up for it, he was not enough. Now the team has a chance to get a good veteran in the mix to push the offense into a better direction next season.