With free agency and the NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, teams know who their impact players are for the 2023 season. For Raiders legend Tim Brown, seeing how the Silver and Black’s roster is shaping up, there are concerns from his end. Brown isn’t the only Raiders legend expressing concerns for the Las Vegas roster heading into the new season. Former running back Marcus Allen touched on the contract extension saga between the Raiders and Josh Jacobs.
Additionally, the Pro Football Hall of Famer weighed in on how frustrating it is to see most teams unwilling to pay top dollar for running backs.
Tim Brown has concerns over the QB-WR chemistry heading into the Raiders’ 2023 season
The 56-year-old Brown knows the value of a wide receiver putting in the chemistry with his quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo had foot surgery in March, preventing him from participating in the offseason activities or minicamp.
Still, Garoppolo should be ready for the start of training camp. While Brown acknowledges that Davante Adams can quickly form chemistry with the former San Francisco 49ers signal caller, it still takes time.
“Davante hasn’t been able to catch one ball from [Garoppolo],” Brown said (h/t Silver and Black Pride). “They’re both pros so it shouldn’t take too long to get it all together, but it’s going to take time … Again, I have a lot of questions I want to answered before getting excited. I’m always hopeful and I’m the Silver and Black until the end. I just want to see success.”
Training camp and preseason will be a significant test for Garoppolo to begin forming a connection with all his receivers. There are several faces that the veteran quarterback will need to figure out their tendencies to hit the ground running in a rugged AFC West.
There might be optimism for the Raiders’ offense if there are no hurdles between the quarterback and receivers. However, if there’s rust and the timing is off, Brown and many fans’ questions will turn into concerns.
Marcus Allen sees the RB position becoming undervalued
Tim Brown isn’t the only Raiders legend recently talking about the team. Marcus Allen touched on the hot-button issue of Jacobs’ contract extension saga. The 63-year-old noted his concerns on the trend that NFL teams are taking that running backs aren’t of high value in a passing league.
Even in their prime years, running backs like Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook are let go. Meanwhile, Jacobs and Saquon Barkley have difficulty finding common ground for contract extensions. Others, like Joe Mixon, had to restructure their contract or risk becoming a free agent.
“Unfortunately, there is a prevalent assumption made by all of these teams that these top running backs aren’t worth investing into beyond four years and it’s not true,” Allen said (h/t Silver and Black Pride).
“I know there have been some cases were top running backs saw their careers end early, but it’s not all of them. These team have to look at it individually. It’s not all of them. You have to value these guys and they’re sadly undervalued. It’s a copycat league, so one team follows the other when it comes to valuing running backs. It’s prevalent and I don’t know if it will change, but I’ll be watching and hope it does change … It’s intellectually dishonest.”
Is Josh McDaniels Following the Patriots’ way at RB?
Some teams are investing that money in a wide receiver rather than paying running backs, considering the bruising the position takes. The Raiders signed Jakobi Meyers to go with Adams and Hunter Renfrow.
McDaniels saw the success of the New England Patriots under Tom Brady and Bill Belichick without paying top dollar for a running back. The Patriots rotated various names during their dynasty years. The Raiders coach might want to follow that same path.
Whether that works out for McDaniels and the Raiders remains to be seen. If Jacobs leaves and continues to flourish elsewhere, there might be second-guessing, especially if Las Vegas struggles.
*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports