Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
The Raiders are currently carrying six running backs on the roster. In the NFL, teams generally carry three, maybe four, running backs. That means that two to three of these players won't be around long, and the cuts will likely begin in training camp.
Unfortunately for Jeremy Stewart, he's got a good chance to be one of the first to go.
The top of Oakland's running back depth chart is set with Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew, and as reported by CBS Sports, Latavius Murray has impressed the coaches early in the offseason, making him the favorite to be the third running back on the depth chart.
That means that Stewart is currently battling it out with Kory Sheets for the fourth spot. This competition can go either way, and neither has made a major impression yet. However, their careers up to this point will play a major role in Oakland's decision.
After failing to secure a spot on an NFL roster out of college, Sheets joined the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL in 2012 and proceeded to make quite a name for himself.
In two years with the Roughriders, Sheets ran the ball 516 times for 2,875 and 23 touchdowns, according to CFL.ca. In 2013, Sheets was awarded the MVP award in the Grey Cup after leading his team to victory in the championship.
The level of competition is not as high in the CFL as it is in the NFL, but Sheets still performed exceptionally well during his time there.
Stewart, on the other hand, has only 27 carries for 103 yards and one touchdown since joining Oakland in 2012. Even with all of the injuries to the guys ahead of him, Stewart has never received a serious look from the coaching staff.
While Stewart is the known quantity in Oakland, Sheets has shown the better upside. This will be especially important to the Raiders given the injury history at the position.
McFadden has never played 16 games, Jones-Drew has yet to prove he's returned to his prior form following a foot injury suffered back in 2012, and Murray missed his entire rookie year with an ankle injury. This means that even the fourth-string running back in Oakland might be depended on at some point in the season.
One advantage Stewart might have is age: He's 25, while Sheets is 29. Unfortunately for Stewart, the Raiders have shown that age isn't as important to them as performance.
At this point, Stewart's biggest opportunity might be as a kick and/or punt returner, but that's about it. A more likely scenario is that he'll be sent home sooner rather than later.