As we continue with our series evaluating the Las Vegas Raiders’ 2023 free agent class, today we are going to take a look at running back Ameer Abdullah.
The Raiders used Abdullah all over the field this past season, and he provided good special teams play from the running back position.
Abdullah is getting older -- he turns 30 in June -- and it might not be the best idea to pay a running back. However, his skill set is unique and fits more of a modern day offensive skill player, rather than a traditional running back, which might entice General Manager Dave Ziegler to keep him around.
If Josh Jacobs does end up walking, though, Abdullah’s price may go up, and Ziegler might not want to get into a bidding war with another team for him, as it’s easy to find running back production anywhere. Let’s break down Ameer Abdullah’s season in the Silver and Black and determine if bringing him back is a good idea.
Abdullah was a second-round pick of the Detroit Lions in the 2015 NFL Draft. He spent a couple seasons there before signing with the division rival Minnesota Vikings. After spending a season with the Carolina Panthers, Abdullah signed a one-year contract with the Raiders.
As a Raider last season, Abdullah carried the ball only four times for 20 yards, three of those carries coming in a win over the Seattle Seahawks. His role was primarily on special teams, as he compiled 593 return yards over 17 games. The Raiders also used him in the passing game, as he caught 25 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown.
While Abdullah played a versatile role with the Raiders this season and has value as a special teams player, it seems more likely that Ziegler will feel comfortable letting Abdullah walk and finding depth at the running back spot elsewhere.
If Abdullah was a bit younger and provided more value as a traditional runner, Ziegler might have given him a second thought, but there are plenty of talented running backs hitting the free agent market and throughout this year’s draft.
Not to mention, the Raiders already have a young, up-and-coming back in Zamir White, who could either slide into the starting role if Jacobs walks, or even see his carries increase if Jacobs stays. If Jacobs does indeed stay, the Raiders’ running back room will likely be too crowded for Abdullah.
The NFL Scouting Combine is Feb. 28-March 6, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. On March 7, 2023, before 4 p.m. EST, is the club's deadline to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 13-15 is the free agent negotiation period. During that time, starting at 12 p.m. EST on March 13 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. EST on March 15, clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2022 Player Contracts at 4 p.m EST on March 15.
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