With the playoffs pretty much out of reach for the Oakland Raiders, it’s time for the team to start thinking of 2020. Las Vegas looms and the team is going to want to field a winner if they’re going to gain new fans. The first thing the team needs to do is to make sure they nail free agency. Last year, additions like Trent Brown and Richie Incognito proved to be great signings. However, Tyrell Williams and LaMarcus Joyner have mostly disappointed. The addition of Dion Jordan didn’t come until later in the season, but he’s left quite an impression on Jon Gruden.
“He’s playing his way into being a Las Vegas Raider, no doubt,” said Gruden at his Monday press conference. “I’m impressed with him. You know, he’s come in here and not only made some plays, he’s brought in a sense of professionalism and experience and much like Darren Waller, he’s had some tough moments in his life… He’s been a real, I think, good role model for our young team and we like Jordan. He’s playing pretty good for us.”
That’s exactly what Jordan is probably hoping to hear as he’s had a hard time finding a long-term situation since coming into the NFL as the third overall pick in his draft. He’s one of the most athletic players on the team and if he closes out the season strong, the Raiders could give him a multi-year contract.
Should Raiders Add Pass Rush Help in the Offseason?
This may seem like an easy question to answer, but there should be some things to consider. The Raiders added Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell in the previous draft. Benson Mayowa has proven to be effective in spots and Gruden clearly likes Dion Jordan. The team still doesn’t get after the quarterback on a consistent enough basis. That said, Crosby and Ferrell should get better with experience and Jordan should be better with more time in the defense.
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Other Free Agents Team Should Bring Back
Benson Mayowa has cooled down significantly since setting a personal best in sacks for a season. Even with that being the case, he should still be brought back for Las Vegas. He’s can be effective in pass-rushing situations and he’s made it clear that he’d like to stay with the team.
Gruden has already stated he’d like to keep Richie Incognito and despite his age, it’s a move the Raiders should definitely make. The offensive guard has been playing at a pro bowl level all season and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. If the team can squeeze a couple more pro bowl season for them, it means they can focus on shoring up other needs.
Starting defensive back Daryl Worley is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, but it seems unlikely the Raiders will let him walk. Gruden has had high praise for him in the past and he is a versatile option in the secondary. He probably won’t cost much, so the team should lock him up for a few seasons.