The Oakland Raiders have already had a very busy offseason, but it’s really just the beginning of the fireworks.
This has been a headline-grabbing start to the offseason for the Oakland Raiders. They began by trading for Antonio Brown before signing $30 million guaranteed into his deal. Oakland then followed that up by agreeing with Trent Brown to a massive four-year, $66 million deal on the first day of free agency, making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.
Later that night, Oakland handed out another big-money deal to safety Lamarcus Joyner, another four-year special worth $42 million. The addition of Joyner fills a major need, but came at a hefty price tag.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Raiders also came to an agreement with former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams. Terms of the deal are not known at this time.
An underrated move was the re-signing of defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. He’s not a flashy player who puts up big numbers, but still has value on the interior of the line. Hankins is a space-eater and capable of shutting down the opponent’s rushing attack.
The Raiders spending spree might not be over yet as they still have over $40 million in cap space and plenty of needs. They were rumored to be involved in the Le’Veon Bell negotiations before he signed on with the New York Jets.
Someone like Tevin Coleman could be a fall-back option at the running back spot, especially with a lackluster rookie crop at the position and Mark Ingram off the board. Oakland desperately needs to upgrade its pass rush and could target veterans like Ziggy Ansah and Justin Houston, with the latter having been cut by the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
They also need help at the cornerback position where high-upside players like Ronald Darby and Bryce Callahan are still available. Someone like Jason Verrett would serve as a veteran option.
Oakland’s ability to improve its roster doesn’t end with free agency. The Raiders own a league-best three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. With that kind of capital — two of the picks being secured from the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades — head coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock can make immediate waves.
With the fourth-overall pick, Oakland could address its need for a pass rusher. There are players like Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Michigan’s Rashan Gary who would make sense at that spot.
It’s fun watching a team like the Raiders completely remake the roster in one offseason. This team is going to look very different than the group we saw last year. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them make at least one more big move in free agency.