- Paul Gutierrez, ESPN Staff Writer
Whether it's a marquee QB or an interior defensive lineman, no team can afford to lose its most valuable player.
So, who steps in if the unfathomable happens? Our NFL Nation reporters and Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl have teamed up to identify each team's most important player and which player in the 2014 draft each team can target to groom as a potential replacement -- MVP insurance. For some teams, their future stars may be slightly younger than others as draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.
And Jennings ended up being the Raiders’ team MVP, though not without dealing with injury himself. Jennings missed one game with a concussion, but appeared in 15 and started eight.
No, he did not have eye-popping stats, but his hard-running style and excellent ball security (he did not fumble once this past season) made his career-high 733 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns seem like much more. He also had career highs in catches (36) and receiving yards (292), averaging 4.5 yards per carry and, oh yeah, he blocked two punts.
Thing is, Jennings is going to be an unrestricted free agent, as is McFadden. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said he wants to re-sign Jennings, but thought McFadden would test his value in free agency.
Where do the Raiders turn if they lose Jennings?
Though they have a backup running back in Jeremy Stewart, Oakland is excited about the potential of Latavius Murray, a big (6-feet-3, 230 pounds) back with speed who was a sixth-round draft pick last year out of Central Florida. He spent the 2013 season on injured reserve after hurting his ankle in the preseason and spending most of the season wearing a walking boot.