After a successful 2016 NFL regular season where the Oakland Raiders went 12-4, the team was defeated by the Houston Texans in the wild-card round and now faces several tough decisions heading into the offseason.
One of the choices they will have to make is whether to sign running back Latavius Murray to a contract extension. Murray, who had a somewhat up-and-down season, has already stated he would like to stay in Oakland, but admitted things happen during negotiations. However, Murray has a huge supporter in quarterback Derek Carr.
According to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, Carr was not shy about letting people know where he stands on Murray’s contract situation:
“We all know that we want him back; we love him. He’s one of my best friends in this whole world. Not just because he can run the ball, but because he can pick up blitzes.”
While the signal caller was clear that he would like to see Murray return to Oakland, it is actually Carr’s contract extension that may ultimately decide where his friend ends up. Carr can make nearly $20 million annually if he decides to re-sign with the Raiders, a massive bump up from his rookie contract. To complicate matters further, defensive end Khalil Mack is also eligible for a contract extension and will demand significant money. With most of the team’s money potentially tied up into two players, Murray will be sure to test the market.
If Oakland decides to let Murray walk, rookie running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington will be the frontrunners for the position next season. The two rushed for 491 yards and 467 yards respectively and are cheaper options for the team going forward.