The Las Vegas Raiders have made some good moves this offseason but they’ve also made some very questionable ones. The team tore apart the offensive line and didn’t do much to fill in the holes. They also added a litany of defensive linemen while completely ignoring the secondary. Though there is still time for the Raiders to makes moves, this offseason is looking like a disappointment.
Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic went through and dissected every team’s offseason with the help of salary cap and contract expert Jason Fitzgerald. It’s safe to say that he is not a fan of what the Raiders have done.
“I don’t know. Nothing they do makes sense,” Fitzgerald said. “One of their top free-agent signings was a running back. I like the Ngakoue deal. Those are good numbers that they got for him. It’s good value.
“But everything else that they have done, you can tell this is a team that’s run by someone who hadn’t been involved in running an NFL team for a decade or for however long it was that Gruden was at ESPN. It has that feel. This has the complete feel of the 2000 [Bill] Parcells era of running franchises. You run to these veteran players, and the minute that somebody makes a peep about something, you cut him. It just doesn’t look like it’s gonna be successful.”
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Are the Raiders in Trouble?
After three straight seasons of missing the playoffs, confidence in Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock has hit an all-time low with fans. The way this offseason has gone certainly won’t help things. The Raiders got rid of three of their best players in Trent Brown, Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson.
It’s understandable why the team had to move on. Those three were making a ton of money and Las Vegas needed to cut costs. However, it doesn’t make fans feel any better when the team hands $11 million guaranteed to Kenyan Drake, who should be the backup running back. Also, why is the team handing big money extensions to Andre James and Kolton Miller when they don’t need to? Sure, Miller has been getting better but he had two years left on his rookie deal while James is untested. He could be great but that’s no guarantee. The Raiders could be in for a very rocky season.
Not Everything Has Been Bad
Mayock and Gruden are getting hit pretty hard in the media this offseason but not everything they’ve done has been bad. Getting Yannick Ngakoue at $13 million is a really solid value for a consistent pass rusher. Also, John Brown should be an upgrade over Nelson Agholor and his contract is a lot cheaper.
The draft is also on the way. The Raiders haven’t done a good job in the draft over the last several years but perhaps things change this year. If the team can find a really good starting right tackle and free safety, things will look a lot better than they currently do.