NFL Free Agency figures to pick up again: Here are 5 great options for Raiders
Typically you think of free agency as happening in March. That’s when those players whose contracts are up with their clubs are able to negotiate and sign elsewhere. And for the most part, the top options fly off the market, following by a couple more “waves”. Then it cools down and teams shift their focus to the draft.
But that doesn’t mean it’s over. It’s more of a break before it starts up again.
There figures to be another wave starting up Tuesday. Why? Well, two reasons, really: One, it’s when players can be signed and it will no longer count against the team’s compensatory pick total. And two, because the draft is done which means teams know what areas they were able to address and which still require some attention.
For the Raiders, they were able to address basically edge rusher and tight end for certain.
At seven overall they got edge rusher Tyree Wilson and at 35 overall they got tight end Michael Mayer. Those are the two sure starting caliber players. After that, there’s still plenty of room for upgrades and competition.
Friday the Raiders cleared up some cap space by restructuring Chandler Jones’s deal, giving him about $4 million to spend on free agency should they wish to use it.
Here a short list of some free agents still out there who could make sense for the Raiders
Jan 1, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Denver Broncos guard Dalton Risner (66) on field against the Kansas City Chiefs during a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
No position was a bigger need this offseason for the Raiders than guard. And yet they signed no outside free agents and used no draft picks on the position. Risner is easily the best guard still unsigned.
OT Isaiah Wynn
Nov 24, 2019; Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn in action against the Dallas Cowboys during a game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Breidenbach/Providence Journal-USA TODAY NETWORK
Reports had the Raiders interested in taking a tackle in the first round of the draft. First missing out on Paris Johnson Jr by one pick at the top of the draft, and then considering trading down to 12 and taking Anton Harrison. In the end, GM Dave Ziegler said all the guys they targeted were not there when they picked so they didn’t draft any. A former Patriots tackle is still there for the signing.
Dec 26, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) celebrates a defensive stop during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
After signing a few cornerbacks who have never been full time starters, they used a fourth round pick on a speedy cornerback. They needed two outside starters and Griffin has been a starter his entire six-year career.
Aug 5, 2022; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos tackle Cameron Fleming (73) during training camp at the UCHealth Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Another former Patriots tackle. Fleming has been a full time starter the past three seasons with the Broncos and Giants.
CB Rock Ya-Sin
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 26: Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin #26 of the Las Vegas Raiders stretches during warmups before a preseason game against the New England Patriots at Allegiant Stadium on August 26, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Patriots 23-6. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Yes, I could certainly see Rock back in Vegas. He was a decent starter for them last season and it seemed like they would look to bring him back. They traded for him just last offseason, after all, so clearly they liked him and thought he fit Patrick Graham’s defense.