As free agency kicked off excitement ran rampant through Raider Nation and rightly so. The second-year GM Dave Ziegler was about to prove why the Raiders would be poised for a deep playoff run in 2023. That excitement peaked early with the signing of new QB Jimmy Garappolo. However, as the next week dragged on the excitement within the Nation turned into disdain as the Raiders seemed to fail to bring a single high-impact signee to the silver and black. Raider fans online went into an uproar calling for the new regime in Vegas to come to an abrupt end.
Despite the initial disappointment, Ziegler remained steadfast in his plan for the team. building a championship team requires more than just flashy free-agent signings. McDaniels and Ziegler seem focused on players that fit their system building a strong locker room culture and developing young talent.
Is Jimmy Garappolo The Man For The Job?
Can Garappolo lead the Raiders to success in a loaded AFC West? The team also needs to address other areas of the roster, such as the Defensive line and the secondary, to compete in the AFC West. Only time will tell if the Raiders’ moves in free agency will pay off in the upcoming season.
It remains to be seen how Garappolo will perform in the Raiders’ system and if he can help lead the team to success. The red zone struggles of the previous QB were a major issue for the team the raiders had a point differential of -23. Garappolo will need to show improvement in that area to truly make a difference and score more points nevertheless, the signing of Garappolo shows that the Raiders are committed to improving their team while keeping the salary cap under control.
You can feel like this off-season has already concluded in a failure and it’s inevitable that the Raiders will be back in the hunt for a new regime in 2024….or you can take a minute and think and realize that the approach the Raiders have taken thus far is exactly what the Raiders have needed to turn this franchise back to greatness in the long term.
The current staff seems to be taking a different approach, focusing on building a strong foundation through smart drafting, developing young talent, and making strategic free agency moves. While it may take some time to see the results on the field, this approach has the potential to bring sustained success to the team in the long run. As fans, we need to be patient and trust the process, knowing that the staff is working hard to build a team that we can be proud of for years to come.
A Snap Shot Of The Raiders Offseason.
– Replaced former QB Derek Carr with a better scheme fit by signing Jimmy Garappolo.
– Built depth along our secondary with the signings of S Marcus Epps and CB Duke Shelley. Epps started 17 regular season games as well as each playoff game and the super bowl last season for Philadelphia. Shelley ended the season as a standout on a struggling Vikings defense.
– Solidified our Wide Receiver room with the signings of Jakobi Meyers who finally gives the Raiders a legit number two WR opposite of Davante Adams. The Raiders also added the speed they desperately needed in the form of Phillip Dorsett both of which have ties to the McDaniels-Ziegler regime.
– Did not overspend on big names in free agency. While Raider Nation was pining for big-name signings the Raiders resisted the urge to make big flashy acquisitions. Instead adding depth on both sides of the ball.
– Moved on from TE Darren Waller who counted for $11m against the cap but had missed more than half of the previous two seasons. He was then subsequently replaced by multiple-time pro bowler Austin Hooper and former 1st round pick O.J. Howard.
This offseason seems to potentially be the foundation of the future of the Raiders.
Build depth and solidify certain positions and then add young talent in the draft with the hopes of developing them into great players at the next level.
Once the Raiders front office has done that they can then add in a few big-money signings in 2024. Which would make absolute sense considering the Raiders boast over $100 million in cap space next off-season.
As we head to the draft expect to see us go heavy on defense in a very defensively deep draft. The Raiders own 11 picks on the draft currently and could use a lot of capital in the later rounds to move up and fill this defense with high end defensive talent.
Raider Nation, The Sky Isn’t Falling…
Raiders founder Al Davis once said, “The greatness of the Raiders lies in its future.”
Well, we just may finally be taking that step into the future.
Did this regime fail to bring in elite talent and allow this team to wallow in mediocrity moving forward? Or have they laid the groundwork for the Raiders to finally begin building homegrown talent through the draft in order to sustain success for the next decade and finally return the Raiders to their former glory?
I can’t give that answer but I can say one thing for certain. This isn’t the same flawed approach we have been seeing for the last twenty or so years. This feels different and maybe that explains the uncomfortability the Nation is feeling at the moment.
Hang in there Nation, this could be one hell of a ride.