As one of the few teams with significant cap space, the Las Vegas Raiders are positioned to make several splashes once free agency officially begins this week.
The Raiders have several needs to address on the defensive side of the field, particularly in the secondary and in the trenches. Las Vegas could also benefit by adding more pass-rushing options as they were unable to generate much quarterback pressure during the 2020 season.
With the salary cap sitting at $182.5 million, the Silver and Black will have an advantage over most cash-strapped teams when chasing bigger names in the market. Additionally, they gave themselves even more flexibility after restructuring Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski’s contracts via Vincent Bonsignore of Las Vegas Review-Journal:
With free agency set to begin on Wednesday and the Raiders now sitting $40 million under the cap after restructuring the contracts of Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, they are in excellent position to make a splash both on the big-player free agency front and on the secondary market.
Littleton and Kwiatkoski, who both signed to three-year deals last year, each agreed to restructure their deals and collectively shaved $7.1 million off the books.
Like every other team, the Raiders have been proactive in freeing up as much space as possible to address the roster’s needs. The depressed salary cap forced unexpected releases of productive players, and Las Vegas is in prime position to capitalize on that in the coming weeks.
Aside from chasing after coveted higher-profile names, the Raiders also have several free agents of their own they will need to make decisions on. Nelson Agholor, Denzelle Good, and Nicholas Morrow played admirably last season and deserve longer looks from head coach Jon Gruden and the front office.
With the legal tampering period beginning on March 15, expect several more players to be linked to the Raiders.