Raiders Create Cap Space With Contract Decision: 3 Free Agents to Watch

richard sherman

Getty Free agent CB Richard Sherman.

It’s early in the season but the Las Vegas Raiders‘ depth is being tested. The team has dealt with a litany of injuries early on, including season-ending ones to defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and right guard Denzelle Good. With two wins over playoff teams from last year to start the season, the Raiders must believe that they’re a playoff team.

That means they can’t let these injuries derail the season before it truly starts. It could be necessary for the Raiders to make some moves in the coming weeks to ensure their depth is solid. A way to do that is to create cap space. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the team has converted linebacker Cory Littleton’s base salary into a roster bonus. That creates $3.4 million in cap space.

That isn’t a ton of money to play with but it does give the Raiders some flexibility. We’ve seen the team do this in the past as it was how they signed K.J. Wright shortly before the season started. It will be interesting to see if the team has a plan to make any moves.

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Move Incoming?

The Raiders started off the last two seasons strong but ended up finishing without a playoff berth both times. A big reason for that was due to the team’s lack of depth. The team is off to another good start and don’t want to see it derail again.

It’s possible that the Raiders could be eying to make a move soon. The offensive line has struggled with health early on and the players who have stayed healthy aren’t playing very well. Scouring the market for some solid offensive linemen seems necessary right now. However, it’s possible that the Raiders are just trying to maintain flexibility. If that’s the case, it’s still wise to open up cap space now in case they have a player they want to sign quickly.

Names to Keep an Eye On

mike mayock

GettyLas Vegas Raiders GM Mike Mayock.

Even though the NFL season is now in full swing, there are still some notable names available to the Raiders. With McCoy going down, the team lost a veteran leader on the defensive line who can still make plays. If they want to fill that void, Geno Atkins is a free agent. The eight-time Pro Bowler is likely past his prime at 33-years-old but has been a team captain before and should still be able to apply some pressure to the quarterback.

Richard Sherman could also be a name to watch. The five-time Pro Bowl cornerback has been garnering interest from teams lately. He expressed interest in the Raiders in the offseason due to his connection to defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. He’d make a lot of sense as a fit due to his familiarity with the defensive system the team runs. The Raiders have received strong play from their cornerbacks so far but it never hurts to have more depth at the position.

If the Raiders want offensive line help, they should take a look at David DeCastro. The former Pittsburgh Steeler has been to the Pro Bowl six times and is only 31-years-old. He’s dealt with some injury issues recently but is one of the best guards in the NFL when healthy. If he’s good to go, the Raiders should be very interested in signing him.

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