Despite the recent concern over the COVID-19 outbreak, it still appears NFL free agency will start on March 18th. While it certainly will make matters more complicated, the Las Vegas Raiders should still plan to be big spenders as they have a lot of needs on offense and defense. The team figures to fill many of those holes in the draft, but they’ll definitely try to add some big-ticket free agents.
Luckily, there are a number of players available that help fit needs for Las Vegas. Raiders insider for The Athletic Vic Tafur recently talked about what the team’s wish list might look like:
They will likely make one or two splash signings from a list that includes cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chirs Harris, receiver Robby Anderson and linebacker Cory Littleton. Defensive tackle Chris Jones and safety Justin Simmons were their dreams, but the Chiefs and Broncos are expected to franchise tag them.
Tafur then went on to make a prediction on what the Raiders will do:
They add Harris and Anderson, then draft another receiver in the third round rather than with their first-round picks at 12 or 19.
Is Anderson Good Enough to Warrant Not Draft WR Early?
Thanks to a weak group of wide receiver free agents this year, New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson could get a big payday. He’s never put up a 1,000-yard season and didn’t pass 779 receiving yards in either of the last two seasons. Regardless, the Raiders appear to really like him, so they could make a run. Anderson said recently that he’d like to return to the Jets, but a lot can happen in the coming days.
If the Raiders signed Anderson, it would definitely help their wide receiver corps. However, he’s not a WR1 and the team should still try to find one early in the draft. Jon Gruden said before last season that he wants the best wide receiver corps in the NFL. A unit featuring Anderson, Tyrell Williams, a third-round pick and Hunter Renfrow isn’t among the best groups in the NFL. However, add Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb and it has the potential to be.
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What Would a Harris Addition Mean for LaMarcus Joyner?
Trying to add Chris Harris Jr. is more of a no-brainer as he’s a proven star. Plus, he’s spent years with the rival Denver Broncos and he can provide insight and signing him would make them weaker in the process. Harris also fits a big need at cornerback, so he’s a logical target.
The only red flag in signing Harris is that he’s spent years becoming one of the best slot cornerbacks in the NFL. Like it or not, the Raiders seem to be determined to keep LaMarcus Joyner guarding the slot despite his obvious struggles in 2019. If they sign Harris, that means that somebody has to get moved around. Joyner could go back to safety or Harris could play a more traditional cornerback role. It’s something the team definitely needs to figure out before they hand out any big contracts.