Las Vegas Raiders 2024 NFL offseason primer: Antonio Pierce got the job — now what?

Biggest acquisitions in free agency: DL Christian Wilkins and QB Gardner Minshew

Las Vegas Raiders' 2023 season: 8-9, missed playoffs

Overview: A tough start to the season ended in a new wave of hope and swagger for the Raiders. Josh McDaniels was fired as head coach after a 3-5 start, but the vibes quickly turned around when Antonio Pierce took over in an interim basis.

After coaching the team to a 5-4 finish and earning the respect of key players in the locker room, Pierce was promoted from interim to full-time head coach and the team hired general manager Tom Telesco to help oversee the construction of the roster. A new quarterback to go with the new regime is high on the list of priorities.

(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)
(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

Key free agents

C Andre James (re-signing)

Who's in/out? Running back Josh Jacobs is out after he reportedly agreed to a deal with the Green Bay Packers. Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols and offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor are also gone in free agency. James was the only key free agent the Raiders managed to keep.

One of the first big decisions for the new Raiders regime will involve running back Josh Jacobs and whether or not to re-sign him. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
The Raiders weren't able to keep Josh Jacobs. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

Key free-agent needs

Defensive line

Why the holes? The Raiders addressed their defensive line hole in a big way on Day 1 of NFL free agency. They made the biggest defensive splash in free agency after agreeing to a four-year, $110 million deal with Christian Wilkins. Meanwhile, the team is adding Gardner Minshew on a two-year deal as Jimmy Garoppolo is on his way out of town, opening up a quarterback competition between Minshew and Aidan O’Connell. It remains to be seen if the Raiders want to add a QB in the draft. They also need more juice at cornerback to make life easier for coordinator Patrick Graham, who led a fantastic defense in the back half of the season.

Do they have the money?: Yes. The Raiders are projected to kick off the new league year with $22.5 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.

Potential notable cuts

QB Jimmy Garoppolo
WR Hunter Renfrow
S Marcus Epps

Why they might be gone: Garoppolo is going to be cut after one underwhelming and injury-plagued season in Las Vegas. The same fate awaits Renfrow, who wasn’t used much last season and makes sense as a cap casualty to free up a little more than $8 million. Releasing Epps would save an additional $3.4 million.

2023 NFLPA report card

(Yahoo Sports)
(Yahoo Sports)

Draft picks

1st round: No. 13
2nd round: No. 44
3rd round: No. 77
4th round: No. 112
5th round: No. 148
6th round: No. 208 (from Chiefs)
7th round: No. 223 (from Patriots)
7th round: No. 229 (from Vikings)

Good draft fit

Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner

Why him? The Raiders picked Tyree Wilson in the first round last year, but they still need a real force to make life easier for Maxx Crosby, who has become their ironman on defense. Dallas Turner is a high-upside pass rusher that makes sense for the Raiders.

What can move the fantasy football needle this offseason?

The Raiders have some good players on offense. Davante Adams is still a verifiable star-quality No. 1 receiver. Jakobi Meyer is one of the game’s most underrated flankers and is rock solid in all phases. Michael Mayer flashed as a rookie tight end and the run game was productive with both Josh Jacobs and Zamir White once Antonio Pierce took over as head coach. Jacobs is gone, but the rest of these pieces could be a part of a good draft plan in 2024, but they have to have a real quarterback plan. Something like Gardner Minshew competing with Aiden O’Connell doesn’t move the needle in enough of a positive direction to grab my interest. — Matt Harmon