There doesn’t appear to be any plans for the NFL to postpone free agency, so signings should begin on March 18th. Teams can start talking to players on March 16th and once that windows open, many deals will be struck before players can even sign. The big-name players will be the first off the market and Los Angeles Rams linebacker Cory Littleton will probably be getting a big payday. Two teams are likely to go heavily after him, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
The Las Vegas Raiders have a desperate need at linebacker and they only have one currently under contract for 2020. They’ve avoided investing a lot in linebackers for years, but it appears they no longer want to ignore the issue. Littleton won’t come cheap, but he could help change the dynamic of the entire defense. Tight ends won’t have as easy a time eating the Raider defense alive with Littleton on the field. He’s exactly what the team needs if they’re going to start fixing their defense.
Raiders Check a Lot of Boxes for Littleton
The Green Bay Packers will certainly not make it easy for the Raiders to acquire Littleton. They’re one of the winningest franchises in the NFL and are coming off an impressive season. The Raiders haven’t won nearly as many games and there are a lot of question marks with them. However, as Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal points out, the silver and black could have an advantage that the Packers can’t match.
Littleton is from southern California, which isn’t far at all from Las Vegas. If he goes to the Raiders, he gets to stay relatively close to home while not having to deal with California’s high tax rates. Plus, there’s a lot of allure playing for the Raiders as they’ve owned Southern California for decades. If the Packers and Raiders offer him the same money, it’s hard to imagine he picks living in Green Bay over Sin City.
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Raiders’ Money Should Be Spent on Defense
The Raiders offense is far from perfect, but they should avoid spending big money on that side of the ball. With Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs, the team doesn’t need to make a splash at tight end or running back. The offensive line is set and it’s unlikely they make any moves there. Whether or not they make a change at quarterback remains to be seen, but that could cost a pretty penny if they move on from Derek Carr.
Wide receiver is the only position group on the offense that needs a lot of work. That said, this is a really weak market for wide receivers this year. Robby Anderson seems to be in line to get a pretty good payday and the Raiders may be the ones that are willing to give it to him. The team is better off addressing the position in the draft as there’s much more talent available.