Analysis

Las Vegas Raiders Free Agency Outlook

Las Vegas Raiders Free Agency Preview

Las Vegas capped off a turbulent season with a late season run which saw them make the playoffs with a 10-7 record despite firing their head coach, Jon Gruden, midway through the season. They finished their season with four straight wins after losing 5 of their first 6 games following their Week 8 bye. They finished 2nd in the AFC West for the second consecutive year and it was their first time making the playoffs since 2016. Heading into the offseason the Raiders have roughly $18.9 million in cap space, which ranks them 13th in the league, and they also have seven picks in the 2022 draft, with only three of them coming within the first 100 picks. 

Update: The Raiders now have $17,783,225 available in cap space.

Las Vegas’ Impending Free Agents:

  • CB Casey Hayward
  • RT Brandon Parker
  • IDL Quinton Jefferson
  • WR Zay Jones
  • CB Brandon Facyson
  • IDL Johnathan Hankins
  • IDL Solomon Thomas
  • LB K.J. Wright
  • WR DeSean Jackson
  • IDL Darius Philon
  • RG Jermaine Eluemunor
  • S Dallin Leavitt (RFA)
  • CB Desmond Trufant
  • CB Roderic Teamer (ERFA)
  • FB Alec Ingold
  • RB Jalen Richard
  • RB Peyton Barber
  • CB Keisean Nixon
  • TE Derek Carrier
  • TE Nick Bowers
  • LB Marquel Lee
  • QB Marcus Mariota
  • IDL Gerald McCoy
  • C Nick Martin
  • LT Jackson Barton (RFA)
  • LB Kyle Wilber
  • LB Patrick Onwuasor
  • LG Jordan Simmons
  • LG Richie Incognito
  • LB Nicholas Morrow
  • RT Jeremiah Poutasi
  • S Kavon Frazier

The Raiders have a few players who they should prioritize resigning–those players are the following: Zay Jones, Solomon Thomas, and Casey Hayward. Jones started to see his role increase from Week 12 onward during this past season as he emerged as one of Derek Carr’s favorite targets. He averaged 6.83 targets per game from weeks 12 through 18 and was the complement to Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller. His price tag in free agency should be fairly affordable and with Bryan Edwards not showing much progression through 2 seasons, re-signing Jones gives them another reliable weapon for Carr.

Thomas had his best season in his first season with Las Vegas, compiling 3.5 sacks and 30 pressures. He also set a career high with 12 QB hits and showed development that was lacking during his first four seasons with San Francisco. He provides a reliable pass rushing presence from the interior of the defensive line, something that’s needed in a division with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert. Lastly, Hayward, he was their best cornerback. He’s 32, so a long term extension would be risky, but a one or two year deal to lockup their most talented cornerback on the roster is almost necessary in the AFC West. 

Franchise Tag:

None

Update: The Raiders indeed elected to not use their franchise tag this offseason.

Top Team Needs:

  1. Cornerback
  2. Right Tackle
  3. Wide Receiver

Even if Las Vegas re-signs Hayward–he’s 32 years old and isn’t the long term solution for the position. They saw flashes from nickel corner Nate Hobbs but they need to find another reliable outside cornerback who can either replace or play alongside Hayward. Former third round pick Brandon Parker is set to become a free agent and played poorly in 2021 allowing 8 sacks and 53 total pressures. Las Vegas needs to reinforce their offensive line to limit hits on Derek Carr–who was sacked the 5th most in the NFL in 2021. Last but not least, they need to add speed to their wide receiver position. DeSean Jackson is going to become a free agent and outside of him the Raiders are lacking speed at WR. They need to find a new deep threat to stretch the field and continue to open up the down field section of their playbook.