Oakland Raiders sign RB Roy Helu

Roy Helu only has 255 carries in 4 seasons since the Redskins drafted him in the 4th round in 2011, but he’s averaged 4.44 yards per carry and where he really provides value is as a 3rd down back. In 48 career games, Helu has 129 catches for 1152 yards and 3 touchdowns and he’s been a top-5 pass blocking running back in 2 of the 4 seasons he’s been in the league, extremely valuable in today’s NFL. I like the fit of him in Oakland with unproven, but promising back Latavius Murray atop their depth chart. Helu can complement Murray as a passing down back and has a decent chance to surpass his career high of 151 carries.

This deal, which pays him 4 million over 2 years, is a solid value, given that Shane Vereen and Reggie Bush both got 4-year, 16 million dollar deals as passing down backs. Helu is younger than Bush and comparable to Vereen, with arguably more upside as a traditional runner. He’s less explosive, but he’s the better in between the tackles runner at 5-11 215. This is a smart, cheap pickup that had a chance to help the Raiders in 2015.

Grade: A

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