With the NFL's pre-free agency negotiation window underway, let's take a look at some potential Raiders targets.
In the last week, the Silver and Black placed the franchise tag on RB Josh Jacobs and announced some additional re-signings on the offensive side with RB Ameer Abdullah, TE Jesper Horsted, OG Netane Muti and OT Brandon Parker. One position still looms large for the Vegas attack and that is the quarterback spot where Chase Garbers remains the only player under contract at the position.
The Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes seems to be centered around the Jets for the time being and there's still no indication that Rodgers will return to play at all in 2023. Jimmy Garoppolo's time in San Francisco is coming to an end and the veteran QB is likely to draw interest from a number of teams. Sure, there's familiarity with Garoppolo and Raiders HC Josh McDaniels from their time together in New England, but Garoppolo also has connections in Houston with new HC DeMeco Ryans and OC Bobby Slowik, now leading the Texans.
Jarrett Stidham obviously represents a familiar fit with valuable scheme experience if a deal could be struck to bring him back to Vegas. Plus, even with the Panthers trade up to the No. 1 pick in the draft, the Raiders are still in a good spot to land their future franchise QB early in the draft, which has seemed the likely course of action since releasing Derek Carr.
As for the Raiders offensive line, you should always be looking to the draft for future building blocks, but if there's an immediate need, right guard would be a position to watch and Isaac Seumalo is a name to consider. The seven-year vet gets after it in the run game in a big way and logged some seriously impactful snaps along the Eagles' Super Bowl run, starting all 20 games for the NFC Champions.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive tackle feels like the biggest position of need and one of the best free agents in this entire class comes at that position in Javon Hargrave, but he's set to command a king's ransom after a breakout season that saw him tally a career-high 11 sacks in 2022. Dre'mont Jones is another name Raider Nation knows well after seeing him twice a year playing for the Broncos since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2019, but will also carry a steep price tag.
If the Raiders choose to pass on the big ticket items at DT, Poona Ford is a name a bit further down the line that could be a bit more of a value fit after being a key piece of the Seahawks defensive line rotation the last five seasons. Three more veteran names at the DT spot to watch would be former first-round pick Sheldon Rankins, A'Shawn Robinson, who has played the last three years with the Rams, and Larry Ogunjobi, most recently with the Steelers.
All three levels of the Raiders defense could use some reinforcements from the free agent market and when looking at the linebacker spot, another familiar face comes to mind and that is 27-year-old Drue Tranquill. Now, don't get me wrong – I love the physicality that Raiders free agent LB Denzel Perryman showcased, but with Tranquill, who has proven a big-time commodity for the Chargers over the last four years, you get a player you don't have to sub out in passing situations given his coverage skills. Another player I've loved watching the last few years is Azeez Al-Shaair, who has made a ton of plays for the 49ers despite playing behind studs Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw.
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On the back end, Rock Ya-Sin is a free agent and while I love the player Amik Robertson is becoming, there's a need at corner and plenty of options in this class. The top names are James Bradberry, who was a big part of the Eagles' Super Bowl run; Jamel Dean, who NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported is going to command a bigger deal than most think; and Jonathan Jones, who's been a key contributor for the Patriots since coming in as an undrafted free agent in 2016.
All three of those players could be a bit pricey, but the good news remains that this a deeply talented draft class at the cornerback position. At safety, I loved what I saw from the Giants' Julian Love playing for the ultra-aggressive Wink Martindale. Love showcased valuable versatility, making plays in a number of roles and could be a nice piece to team up with Raiders' 2021 second-round pick Tre'von Moehrig.
As always, just because you have some cash doesn't mean you have to spend it and some of the best teams are built through the draft with supplements from the free agency ranks. So, even if the next few days are not met with a flurry of activity from the Raiders, it doesn't mean the fireworks won't still fly inside Allegiant Stadium in 2023.
With free agency set to begin on March 15th, take a look at the Raiders officially slated to become unrestricted and restricted free agents.