The consensus opinion around the league is that the Raiders are the worst team in the NFL. Some publication have said specifically that they have the worst roster in the NFL. They weren't the worst team in football last season -- that went to the Chiefs and Jaguars -- so with the way people are talking, it would seem they must have gotten worse since then.
To find out if this could be true, I went through each position to see if they had actually gotten worse since last season. Here is my round up of all those articles into one neat little package as we attempt to answer the question: Did this team improve?
Breakdown: Proven NFL quarterback Carson Palmer is replaced by unproven Matt Flynn on his third team with just two NFL starts. Entire 2013 QB group has just three NFL starts among them.
Breakdown: McFadden returns with much more durable backup plans in Rashad Jennings and Latavius Murray. There is no fullback comparison because there was no change in personnel.
Breakdown: The considerably overpaid and underperforming Darrius Heyward-Bey is gone. Jacoby Ford is healthy and Josh Cribbs and rookie Brice Butler are added to the mix.
Breakdown: Raiders leading receiver, Brandon Myers, is gone and no proven player or high draft pick was brought in to replace him. Another year of shifting the backup to starter with rookies as backups.
Breakdown: The starters remain the same. Their backups and competition improve. Most notably, second round pick, Menelik Watson at right tackle.
Interior offensive line
Breakdown: The only change here is at left guard where Tony Bergstrom and Lucas Nix will battle for the job. Mike Brisiel was hampered all last season with an ankle injury and returns healthy.
Breakdown: The starters are Lamarr Houston and Andre Carter who were a big part of last year's late season defensive resurgence. The options behind them couldn't be worse than the nothing they received last season.
Breakdown: Longtime starters Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly are gone. Desmond Bryant was a big loss as he broke out replacing Seymour the last half of the season. They are replaced by two players who have never been full time starters in Vance Walker and Pat Sims.
Breakdown: Rolando McClain is gone. What, you need any other reasons? Now, where there were two good starting options last season, there are five.
Breakdown: Both starters in 2012 were lost to injury by week 2. The ragtag bunch who replaced them was a disaster. Raiders now have at least five good options at cornerback.
Breakdown: Branch returning is huge for this team. Huff played cornerback all but one game last season with Giordano stinking it up in his stead. Charles Woodson is back and has a nice option with solid depth in Usama Young.
Breakdown: Best punter in the league is gone. Anyone else is a step down.
Yes: 8 - RB, WR, OT, OG/C, DE, LB, CB, S
No: 4 - QB, TE, DT, SP
Breakdown: Most improvements were slight but some were considerable. Linebacker in particular shows the greatest improvement which is important because it has been one of the team's biggest issues in recent years. An argument can be made that positions such as WR, OG/C, and DE are more lateral moves than improvements, but there is no way this roster can be seen as worse than the 4-12 team they fielded last season. Especially if you factor in coaching and how they will be utilized.