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Free Agency Shouldn't Be The Raiders' Way To Win Championships

Overall, Free Agency Hasn't Been Good For The Las Vegas Raiders In The Most Recent Years


Most of Raider Nation is rational and realizes that trying to build a team through free agency is not the way to go. I'm not saying free agency is absolutely the worst for a team, but if a team is building its roster mainly based on free agency, they aren't going to be successful more often than not.


Free agency should be used for adding depth and finding some diamonds in the rough that other teams couldn't use (Darren Waller comes to mind, but he was actually claimed off waivers). You look for starters in the NFL Draft, and we've seen teams that draft well end up in the playoffs or in playoff contention every year.

 

The reason I'm bringing this up is that the Raiders will have over $40 million of salary cap space entering the 2024 free agency period. Based on comments I've seen on X, the fans desire the Raiders to be big spenders. Yes, the Raiders will have holes on both sides of the ball because every team does after each year. Primarily from what I've read, the fans want the team to seek help at defensive tackle, quarterback, offensive line, and secondary positions.


I have to agree with the fans that those positions are precisely where the team needs improvement moving forward. Why not bring in some depth players at each position and perhaps invest heavily in one player if they truly admire him and he is committed to changing the franchise's culture?

 

Now I understand 100%. If you disagree with me, and I'm guessing a good portion of you will, let's look back at some of the free agents the team brought in for big money. How about Wide Receiver Javon Walker? The team signed him to a 6-year, $55 million contract, and he only played in 8 games, with 15 catches and one touchdown.


He was released the next year. What about Lamar Woodley, another guy who was a damn good player in Pittsburgh, but when he came to the Raiders, he only had 5 total tackles through 6 games. Woodley was also gone after one year.

 

Can't forget about Trent Brown. He signed a 4-year deal worth $66 million, and in his first season, he was named to the Pro Bowl. However, injuries became a recurring issue afterward. There were also reports of his poor work ethic and lack of dedication to the team. We were fortunate to receive a fifth-round pick for Brown, but it remains another unsuccessful signing.

 

The hype surrounding the signings of LaMarcus Joyner and Cory Littleton is intriguing. Joyner signed a 4-year deal, while Littleton signed a 3-year deal. Joyner, who didn't perform as well as he did with the Rams, played only 16 games over 2 seasons and defended just 8 passes, making him a liability.


Littleton, on the other hand, was the bigger disappointment, as the team needed a talented linebacker who could be a leader on and off the field. While Littleton may have impressed some fans, I consider him a flop because of the significance of that signing for the team's future.



 

Let's go with the one that always makes me chuckle a little, but then makes me cry a little as well. DeAngelo Hall was technically not signed in free agency but was acquired through a trade with the Atlanta Falcons. Hall was a good cornerback, and the excitement of him and Nnamdi Asomugha playing together was everywhere.


So, the Raiders signed him to a 7-year, $70 million contract extension before the upcoming season. However, Hall only lasted 8 games with the team. He was able to become All-Pro 2 years later with the Commanders (Redskins at the time).


 Before you start criticizing me in the comments section, I am aware that the Raiders have made some nice moves in free agency as well. I think of names like Reggie Nelson, Denzel Perryman, Michael Crabtree, Jared Cook, Donald Penn, and Rodney Hudson (all made the Pro Bowl at least once).


I also will not mention guys like Jordy Nelson, Jason Witten, and Warren Sapp because they are Hall of Fame players who were not there solely because of their current play. They were brought in based on what they have achieved in the league and to help the younger players mature. Their production was an added bonus. 

 

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