Being a Raider fan can be tiresome, and sometimes downright annoying. Often times, the simple moves, that seem obvious to even the greatest casual fan, are the ones the team fails to make. The list of baffling moves is long, including; not moving Joyner to his natural position, signing Jason Witten, handing big money to Carl Nassib, and keeping Paul Guenther for one more season. The head-scratching moves, combined with a bad draft and a horrific free agent class, caused the Raiders to once again have a 2nd half train-wreck.
The Raiders need to have a franchise changing off-season, that helps catapult them to a playoff run, and it has already begun. The Raiders added Gus Bradley, Richard Smith and Ron Milus to the coaching staff, and the off-season is going to be centered around, getting these guys pieces to succeed. Here is how I think the Raiders should attack this off-season.
Cut/Re-Structures (Total Savings 58 Million+)
- Marcus Mariota- (Restructure)- The quarterback market is relatively deep as far as backups go and it’s a deep draft class. Mariota proved he can provide value to the organization, but a 10.75 million dollar cap hit is too much. I can see the Raiders extending Mariota, and pushing some money back. He won’t fetch a huge contract if released, so this works out for both parties. (3 years 24 million, 9 million guaranteed) Saves 5.3 million in 2021.
- Lamarcus Joyner- (CUT)- Even if they switch Joyner to his natural position, it doesn’t warrant the price tag. Joyner has been awful in his Raiders tenure, and this is honestly a year late. The Raiders, need to address both free safety and slot corner this off-season, the money saved here should help. Saves 8.75 million, with a 2.5 million dead hit
- Trent Brown- (CUT)- I’m on the fence with this one, on one hand, it creates a major hole for the Raiders. On the other hand, it’s 14 million dollars that can go a long way in re-building this defense. Brown hasn’t shown the ability to stay on the field and I believe Gruden is fed up, and this 100 percent happens. Saves 14 million, no dead cap
- Jalen Richard (CUT)- Jacobs proved he can act as a third down back when needed, and the value of Richard isn’t worth it at this point. He isn’t a plus returner, and is easily replaceable at 3.5 million dollars. Riddick, was more productive in the one game he played and is equal in pass-blocking. So if Gruden decides to carry a 3rd down back, Riddick on the minimum makes more sense. Saves 3.5 million, no dead cap
- Carl Nassib- (CUT)- Nassib was benched late in the season and he was a healthy scratch in back to back weeks. He carries a 5.75 million dollar dead cap hit, but Gruden doesn’t seem to care for him too much. I see this happening, so they can address the pass-rush elsewhere. Saves 3.75 million, with a 5.75 million dead hit
- Richie Incognito- (CUT)- When on the field Richie Incognito changes the whole offense, and the run game. Unfortunately, he is up there in age and coming off a major injury there are no guarantees. The Raiders will look to fill this position in the draft or re-sign Denzelle Good. Saves 6.35 Million, with no dead cap
- Arden Key- (CUT)- This isn’t a money saving move, it’s simply a move that needs to be done. Key is awful and hasn’t taken any steps forward as a Raider. His tenure should come to an end. Saves 900,000, with a 200,000 Dead hit
- Keisean Nixon- (CUT)- Nixon stinks, and spends more time arguing with fans on twitter than covering Wr’s. Simply, the Raiders need to upgrade their depth at the CB position, so they don’t get stuck with Nixon getting playing time in 2021. (Saves 900,000, with no dead cap)
- Gabe Jackson- (Restructure)- After cutting Brown and Incognito, The Raiders would be foolish to move on from Gabe. Gabe is serviceable, but not elite. The Raiders should extend him past next season at a slighlty lower cap hit. (4 years 30 Million) Saves 3.3 million in 2021
- Tyrell Williams- (CUT)- Cutting Tyrell Williams makes the most sense, and ends a putrid 2019 FA class. The Raiders cant afford to pay players that cant stay healthy. With the emergence of Nelson Agholor and the hopeful development of the young WRS this is a no-brainer. Saves 11.6 million
Own Free Agents (Around 32 million in 2021 cap hits)
- Nelson Agholor- (Re-Sign, 3 years 27 million w/ 14 guaranteed)- Agholor became Carr’s favorite target, and keeping him is the smart move. With the stacked WR free agent class, this deal could be team friendly.
- Nicholas Morrow- (Re-Sign, 3 years 15 million W/ 8 guaranteed) Hopefully the rest of the league didn’t notice how good Morrow played this season, a nice raise for him is in order and I expect it to happen. He will be even better in a Gus Bradley system.
- Denzelle Good- (Re-Sign, 3 years 18 million W/ 7.5 guaranteed) Denzelle Good was the Raiders back-up at 3 spots, and played in 88 percent of snaps. He deserves a long-term deal and I think this gets done with the uncertainty of Brown and Incognito.
- Theo Riddick-Walk - (Re-Sign practice squad)- I can see the Raiders keeping Riddick at the same capacity of last season, while looking to upgrade in the draft.
- Jonathan Hankins- (Re-Sign 2 years 8 million, 4 guaranteed) Hankins is the Raiders best defensive lineman, which isn’t a good thing. However, they should keep his veteran presence at the right price. He is the only reason the Raiders dint give up 200+ a game on the ground.
- Jason Witten- Drive to the retirement home
- Takk Mckinley- ( Re-Sign 2 years 12 Million 5 guaranteed)- I have seen some projections that Takk could get 8+ per year. I wouldn’t touch him at that price, however if they can lock him up at around 6 a year, they should, he’s still young with potential to improve in Gus Bradleys system.
- Erik Harris- Walk far away
- Nathan Peterman- Walk
- Nevin Lawson- Walk far away
- Derek Carrier- Walk
- Zay Jones- Walk
- Kyle Wilber- Walk
- Raekwon Mcmillian- Walk
- Sam Young- Walk
- Devontae Booker- Walk
- Vic Beasley- Walk
- Dallin Leavitt- Walk far away
- Kendall Vickers- ERFA Tender
- Daniel Carlson- Original Round Tender (5th Round)
- Trent Sieg- ERFA Tender
Free Agency (30 Million 2021 Cap Hits)
- Desmond King- ( 3 years 17.5 million, 10 million guaranteed)- King is the one guy from Gus Bradleys tree that I want. He is one of the better slot corners in football, and in Bradleys system you need one. With the money saved from cutting Joyner, getting King at 6 mil per year seems like an insane steal. With a trio of Arnette, Mullen and King, the Raiders can really focus on the front 7 in the draft and continue to groom their young secondary.
- Trey Hendrickson- ( 4 years 45 million, 21.25 million guaranteed)- After whiffing on Nassib and Collins in 2020, the Raiders need to make a major splash on the d-line in 2021. Bradley relies on pressure from his front 4 to succeed, so spending money on a 3rd guy that can help take pressure off Crosby and Ferrell is key. Hendrickson had 13.5 sacks in 2020 and has become a very good football player. Although he isn’t mentioned with the likes of Clowney and Yannick in this class, I believe he is the prize, especially for teams that run a 4-3.
- Malik Hooker- ( 1 year 4 million, 2.5 guaranteed)- This is a low-key move, I would love the Raiders to make. Hooker is a guy that hasn’t been able to stay healthy which is a big red flag, especially in Raider Nation. However, taking a risk on him at near minimum, is not a bad move. They need someone to compliment Jonathan Abram and Hooker could be an ideal fit there. I don’t expect him to fetch a huge contract and this could be the Nelson Agholor signing of 2021.
- Matt Feiler- ( 2 years 13 million, 5 guaranteed)- The Raiders are likely going to be looking to replace both Brown and Incognito this season. Feiler has experience at both positions, and shouldn’t fetch a huge contract, due to the overall depth of this free agent class. Getting another versatile guy to pair with Denzelle Good and likely rookies, is the move to make for the Raiders. At worst, Feiler can serve as the swing tackle and if Denzelle Good is a starter, he will play the Denzelle Good role in 2021.
- Christian Barmore DT, Alabama
- Gregory Rousseau Edge, Miami
- Trevon Moehrig Safety, TCU
- Azeez Ojulari Edge, Georgia
- Zaven Collins LB, Tulsa
- Mac Jones QB, Alabama