Entering the 2021 season, the Raiders feel like they have the best running back duo in the NFL. Josh Jacobs is coming off another 1,300-yard season and the team added Kenyan Drake, who also went over 1,000 yards last year.
However, the Raiders have been trying to find a solid No. 3 back to pair with Jacobs and Drake since Jalen Richard is set to miss some time with a foot injury. With Richard on the injured reserve list, the team has just two backs on their roster.
That is why the Raiders tried to claim Royce Freeman on Thursday after he was placed on waivers by the Broncos, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. However, the Raiders did not get Freeman as the Panthers had a higher priority and he will now serve as the primary backup to Christian McCaffrey.
With J.K. Dobbins out for the season, the Ravens put in a waiver claim on new Panthers RB Royce Freeman, per source.
So too did the Raiders, but Carolina had priority (8th overall) and added the 2018 third-round pick to its backfield.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) September 3, 2021
Freeman is a former third-round pick by the Broncos, but never developed into a full-time starter with the team. He finished the 2020 season with just 35 carries as he was mostly the No. 3 back for Denver. Freeman is just 25 years old with only 366 touches in the NFL.
While the Raiders lost out on Freeman, expect Mike Mayock and company to continue to search for an adequate No. 3 back on waivers or via trade. It’s not the most pressing need on the roster, but Jon Gruden and his coaching staff would like another running back on the team who can also work in on special teams.
Look for the Raiders to add someone over the next few days as they begin preparations for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.
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