It’s officially optimism season in Las Vegas, and with the start of free agency just days away, it’s time to think positively. A year ago, the Raiders entered free agency with some massive needs throughout their roster — and just a few hours later, they had splashed enough cash to make your head spin.
Within two days of free agency opening, the Raiders had signed Trent Brown (four years, $66 million), Tyrell Williams (four years, $44 million), Lamarcus Joyner (four years, $42 million) and Jonathan Hankins (two years, $8.5 million). Of course, this doesn’t even include the trade to acquire Antonio Brown, either.
The point? The Raiders aren’t a team afraid to go after what they want in free agency — and with more holes on the roster this year still unfilled, the rumors are already swirling about where they might spend some money. So, over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to be putting out a series of pieces highlighting various positions the Raiders might look to fill along with some available players who might be a good fit.
The good news, of course, is that the Raiders don’t need to be in the market for every position on the roster — and so we’ll focus on cornerbacks, linebackers, defensive linemen, wide receivers and — yes — quarterbacks.
As it currently stands, the Raiders are 11th in the league in cap space according to Spotrac with around $57.5 million in space after releasing linebacker Tahir Whitehead.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is the team’s need to set aside some of that space for future contracts. That said, a bit of good news is that the Raiders don’t have any real difference-makers whose contracts expire after next season — the best player in this boat might be Jonathan Hankins, who was signed for a pretty reasonable deal a year ago.
So, before we go, how about some of the rumors to whet your appetite…
- There has been lots of talk about the Raiders signing Broncos’ cornerback Chris Harris recently.
- Likewise, Dallas corner Byron Jones — who most people consider to be better than Harris — has also been connected to Vegas.
- Quarterback rumors? How about former No. 2 overall pick Marcus Mariota as an option to be Derek Carr’s backup?
- Might the Raiders seriously consider bringing back Vontaze Burfict?
- If not, another name to watch is former Los Angeles Rams linebacker Cory Littleton
- Oh, yeah, and there’s always that Tom Brady guy too…