The opening season for Josh McDaniels as head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders didn’t pan out as expected. Despite acquiring All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams from the Green Bay Packers in exchange for their first and second-round draft picks, the Raiders fell short of their ambitions, finishing the 2023 campaign with a disappointing 6-11 record and placing third in the AFC West.
Following an unsuccessful attempt to trade quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders decided to release the veteran player, who had been a fixture in the team for the last nine years, starting in 142 games. This move marked a significant shift in the team’s offensive strategy, which was further highlighted by the recent trade of tight end Darren Waller.
We are going evaluate the Raiders thru free agency so progress, let’s review Las Vegas free agency moves and assess their performance thus far, beginning with their signing of jakobi meyers.
The Raiders may have a productive offense, but their defense is a major concern. The unit, led by coordinator Patrick Graham, ranked 30th in efficiency last season, which is unacceptable when competing against top quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in their division.
The Raiders have bolstered their wide receiver corps by signing Jakobi Meyers to a three-year, $33 million deal with $21 million guaranteed. Meyers, who previously played under Raiders Coach Josh McDaniels during their time with the Patriots, will now team up with Davante Adams to create a formidable duo in Las Vegas.
Despite going undrafted, Meyers had a standout season in 2021 with McDaniels as his offensive coordinator, recording 83 catches for 866 yards. He followed that up with 67 receptions for 804 yards and six touchdowns in the 2022 season, despite missing three games.
Known for his skills as a slot receiver in New England, Meyers’ size also makes him a viable option on the outside. It remains to be seen where he will fit in with the Raiders, who already have Hunter Renfrow as a reliable slot receiver. Regardless, Meyers’ addition to the team is sure to provide a much-needed boost to their receiving corps. The Raiders acquiring a player that is familiar with and also had success in this system is a home run because it’s been said learning Mcdaniel’s offense is like learning Mandarin.Because of his familiarity with this system we shouldn’t see a drop-off in Meyers play and he’s also a wr by trade and not a glorified special teams ace he should hit the running and for that reason, I give this move a B+
Garoppolo’s new contract with an average annual value of $22.5 million establishes a new middle class for quarterbacks in the NFL. His contract currently ranks 17th in terms of average annual value, with a significant gap at either end of the spectrum. At one end, nine quarterbacks earn an average of $40 million per year, while at the other end, many young players earn less than $10 million per year on rookie deals.
The prevailing belief is that the Raiders were initially interested in Brady, who developed a close relationship with head coach Josh McDaniels during their time together in New England, before they unexpectedly moved on from Derek Carr late last season. However, with Brady retiring from the Buccaneers instead of pursuing free agency, the Raiders ultimately turned to another former McDaniels protégé and ex-Brady backup for the Patriots in Garoppolo.With Garoppolo now officially joining the Raiders, the true test of his abilities will begin. The question on everyone’s mind is whether he can lead the team to 10 or more victories. The Raiders have long talked about their legacy and mystique, but their track record over the past 28 years has been less than impressive, with only five seasons finishing above a .500 record. Garoppolo acknowledged the 49ers’ past success but is focused on creating a brighter future for the Raiders. The parallels between Jimmy Garoppolo and Rich Gannon are there, two journeymen Qbs that fit perfectly into the incumbent coaches’ system. And for reason I give this move a solid B
the acquisition of SS Marcus Epps from the Eagles went under the radar Despite not being classified as one of the top defenders, Epps had a remarkable season as a box safety, starting in all 17 games and accumulating 92 tackles. The Raiders’ decision to sign Epps to a two-year deal that could reach $12 million deserves praise Dave Ziegler is doing a terrific job structuring these contracts .What rating does this move warrant for the Raiders?
Epps, who stands at 6-foot and weighs 198 pounds, had an impressive season in 2022, accumulating six pass breakups, a forced fumble, and 70 solo tackles. He began his career as a walk-on at Wyoming and was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Epps’ previous success as a box safety makes him a valuable addition to the Raiders’ team, as he is expected to continue playing in that position. the Raiders’ safety group is projected to have a significant improvement by the 2023 season thanks to Epps’ addition.
Marcus Epps, who was ranked No. 88 on The Athletic’s top 150 free agents list, had a significant increase in his playing time last season, starting in 20 games for the Eagles. In his previous three seasons with the Eagles and Vikings, he had only started in a total of eight games. The Raiders were initially interested in signing Jordan Poyer, a former Bills safety; however, they may have been deterred by Vonn Bell’s signing with the Panthers and Jessie Bates III’s $64 million commitment to the Falcons for four years. The raiders got bang for their buck on this signing and for that reason B-
Spillane spent the past three years with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2019-21) and has played in 52 games, starting in 16, with a total of 166 tackles (111 solo), eight passes defensed, three sacks, one interception returned for a touchdown, and one fumble recovery. Additionally, Spillane has contributed 25 stops on special teams.
During the 2022 season, Spillane played in all 16 games and started in five, achieving career highs in tackles (77), tackles for loss (four), and passes defended In addition to maintaining his regular spot on special teams, Spillane played an impressive 59% of the team’s defensive snaps, a career-high for him.
Spillane’s 77 tackles put him in third place on the team’s leaderboard, just behind Myles Jack and Minkah Fitzpatrick. He also made an impact with four tackles for loss, one sack, and four passes defended, showcasing his versatility and skills on the field. I think this acquisition was a sneaky good move for the raider’s defense and special teams but there were other options at linebackers that were signed for not much more than Spillane and for including Denzel Perryman for that reason I give this move a merciful C
Stay tuned for the rest of our free agency breakdown on YouTube .