If there’s anything the Las Vegas Raiders don’t need more of, it’s tight ends. They signed Jason Witten and Nick O’Leary this offseason when they already had a loaded group. It appears Eric Tomlinson is the first tight end that played for the Raiders last season who won’t be returning. He announced on his Instagram on Friday night that he’s signing with the New York Giants.
Tomlinson joined the Raiders late in the season after Foster Moreau hit the injured reserve. He started one game for the team and only saw one target in three games played. He did not make any receptions for the Raiders. Tomlinson has bounced around the NFL since he entered in 2016. He was actually a member of the Giants shortly before signing with the Raiders in 2019. He’ll now get a chance to have a full offseason in New York.
Is Tight End the Raiders’ Biggest Strength?
Tomlinson was probably the most obvious odd man out after the Raiders signed Witten and O’Leary. As it currently stands, the team is carrying five tight ends on the roster. Darren Waller is the leader of the pack as he came out of nowhere and became one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL.
Foster Moreau is an exciting young talent who should get better in his second year in the league. He’s a very good red-zone threat. Jason Witten is probably far removed from making a huge impact, but his strong leadership ability will be a welcome addition to a young offense. Between Waller, Moreau and Witten, tight end may just be the Raiders’ biggest strength. They’ll definitely see a lot of targets if the team can’t fix its wide receiver issues.
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Raiders Receive Strong Free Agency Grade
Las Vegas went into free agency with a lot of money and spent it pretty wisely. While big needs at wide receiver and cornerback still remain, the team fixed its linebacker issue and added talent all over the roster. Sean Wagner-McGough of CBS Sports gave the Raiders an A- grade for the free-agent haul:
Nobody should expect the Raiders to challenge the Chiefs for the division crown. This is still Kansas City’s division – and it’ll remain that way until Mahomes retires (a scary thought for the three other AFC West teams). But the Raiders found ways to get better during free agency with the draft still to come. They emerge with a high grade. The reason they didn’t get an A? A couple of signings that felt unnecessary (Jason Witten) and the fact that they didn’t get a better quarterback than Mariota in an offseason with a bevy of quarterbacks available both in free agency and the trade market. I don’t think Mariota pushes them over the hump.
There’s no doubt that the Raiders defense should be better in 2020. They didn’t do a ton on offense, but they didn’t need to. The defense has been the team’s biggest weakness and while there are still holes that need to be filled, the Raiders are a lot closer to fielding a strong unit.