Heading into free agency, tight end was the last position anybody thought the Las Vegas Raiders would make a move at. Not only did they make a move at the position, the player they signed was Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten. The 11-time Pro Bowler spent his entire 16-year career in Dallas and it’s strange he’d make a move now.
The Raiders have a strong tight end group and while they didn’t have a need at the position, the addition of Witten certainly doesn’t hurt. According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Jon Gruden is excited about the decision.
Witten may lack athletism at this point in career, but he still brings the team a lot of leadership ability. He put up decent numbers last season and won’t be expected to take on too much of a workload in 2020. The Raiders should sport one of the strongest groups of tight ends in the NFL this upcoming season.
Foster Moreau Is Very Happy
Darren Waller gets most of the hype out of the Raiders’ tight ends and rightfully so. However, Foster Moreau showed a ton of promise during the 2019 season. The former fourth-round pick out of LSU did well in both the blocking and receiving game. His season was cut short by an injury, but he should come back even better this season. Moreau is incredibly excited about the news
Witten has been one of the best tight ends in the NFL for almost two decades. It makes sense why Moreau would’ve idolized him. Now he’s going to have a chance to learn from him. Moreau should still be the number two option behind Waller, but Witten will get his chances.
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What Witten Brings to Raiders
It’s hard to tell exactly what kind of role Witten will have with the Raiders on the field. He showed last year that he still has some production left in the tank, but he doesn’t fill a need for the team. Former Raiders player Lincoln Kennedy explained the move:
Some of the nation have questioned why sign Witten? Last yr the raiders ran a lot of multiple TE sets due to lack of WR depth. Witten adds to those packages. He’s a good route runner and knows how to get open. This is a good short term move for the Raiders. I like it.
He also added a tidbit on Witten’s blocking ability:
And I forgot to mention he’s a good run blocker as well. Which is what a guy like me appreciates the most.
Gruden loves his veterans as has been clear every offseason he’s gone through since returning to the Raiders. They’ve clearly put an emphasis on youth the last two years, but he still likes to sprinkle in a few veterans. Luckily, the Raiders won’t be relying on Witten for a major role on the team, so it won’t be a big deal if he doesn’t put up a lot of numbers. There’s not really any downside for this move even though it wasn’t completely necessary.