Kory Sheets eyes starting opportunity in Raiders’ “wide open” backfield
The 28-year-old Sheets drew attention from quite a few NFL teams this offseason after he won the Grey Cup MVP for the Saskatchewan Roughriders to conclude CFL’s 2013 season. One of those teams intrigued by Sheets were also the Indianapolis Colts, who worked him out in December, and much like the Raiders are in need of help at the running back position. He also attended college at nearby Purdue University, where he set school record for second most career yards.
Sheets had similar success in the CFL, rushing for 2,875 yards and 23 touchdowns, as well as catching 86 passes for 781 yards and two more TDs, in over two seasons for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. But he opted for the Raiders due to the uncertainty at the running back spot. The Oakland Raiders might have to replace their two leading rushers from 2013 – Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden – both of whom are eligible to become unrestricted free agents.
"Up in Canada it was the perfect situation. I was the starting guy, I didn't have to worry about a position, I probably could have retired there if I wanted to,” Sheets said, during an appearance on Bay Area radio station 95.7 The Game to discuss his signing with the Raiders. “But coming here it was wide open. [Darren] McFadden's not signed, [Rashad] Jennings' not signed, the other guy (Latavius Murray) is coming off injury so it was pretty much wide open."
According to reports even though the Raiders aren’t expected to re-sign McFadden, they are still interested in keeping Jennings on the roster.
"[The Raiders] didn't say anything about being the featured guy yet but they did say I had a chance to compete for a position inside the running backs so that's something I was looking for,” Sheets added. “The probability of actually starting was another thing I was hoping for. This is a perfect place for me.
Oakland gave me the deal that I wanted and that I was looking for. I'm happy to be here and I'm a Raider now."
Sheets last played in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins in 2009, appearing in two games and carrying the ball one time for five yards.