After being way over the projected cap heading into the offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders have done work. They’ve moved off of several really big contracts and now have plenty of money to spend. Based on some recent moves, it looks like they’ll have even more.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Raiders are restructuring the contracts for linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski.
By restructuring those deals, the team opened up another $7.1 million in cap space. That now puts the Raiders at over $40 million under the cap.
Las Vegas will now have plenty of money to spend in free agency. They’ve got glaring needs all over the roster but should have more than enough cap space to fix a number of those issues. This is the second time the Raiders have restructured Littlton’s contract. They did it prior to the start of last season in a move that created $8.272 million in cap space. The team didn’t end up using that money to land a big name but it gave them the flexibility to add players throughout the season.
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Are More Roster Cuts on the Way?
At this point, the Raiders have done a good job of trimming the fat off their roster. However, there’s one more move that seems imminent. It doesn’t appear that the team will find a trade partner for Marcus Mariota. His contract incentives are just too steep for another team to take a chance on him.
If he doesn’t play a single game, he’s going to take up more than $10 million in cap space. The Raiders absolutely can not afford to pay a backup quarterback that type of money. It appears the team is trying to restructure his deal as they’d like to keep a solid backup on the roster. From Mariota’s perspective, he could probably go be a starter for Washington or Chicago if he hits the free-agent market. If that’s the case, it’s hard to imagine he’d want to restructure his deal with the Raiders just to be Derek Carr’s backup. In the end, Mariota getting cut outright seems like the most likely course of action.
Raiders Could Be Planning to Make Splash
The Raiders have made some serious mistakes over the last few offseasons. The team was able to create all this extra cap space by cutting players that they overpaid in 2019. It appears Las Vegas will now try to be big spenders again but actually have success this time.
There are plenty of big names on the market that the team can target but they have to a lot smarter. No more overpaying for players like Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams and LaMarcus Joyner. The team has a real chance to make the playoffs next year if they nail free agency. It’s time they started spending some money to fix that defensive line. Keep an eye on players like Yannick Ngakoue, Carl Lawson and Jadeveon Clowney. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Raiders hand a big contract to a proven star on the defensive line.
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