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NFL 2021 free agency: Raiders’ unfinished business

Figuring out Marcus Mariota’s future is at top of the list

Miami Dolphins v Las Vegas Raiders
Marcus Mariota
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders have been busy shedding salary cap room as they prepare for free agency to begin Wednesday (legal tampering starts Monday).

Let’s look at the remaining business the Raiders need to conduct in the next week.

Figure out Marcus Mariota’s future:
I think most of us thought this would be settled by now. There were reports a couple of weeks ago that a Mariota trade seemed likely, but because of his contract those talks have slowed. The Raiders need to make a call if the trade market is indeed dried up. He is on the books for $10.7 million in 2021 and will likely be cut if no trade is made.

Las Vegas Raiders v Cleveland Browns
Gabe Jackson
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Figure out Gabe Jackson’s future:
There is suddenly intrigue here. It was reported last week that the Raiders were cutting Jackson, but Las Vegas general manager Mike Mayock said he couldn’t “confirm or deny” the report. Yet, Jackson is still on the Raiders’ roster. Until he isn’t, there is a chance he could restructure and stay in 2021.

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Daniel Carlson
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Restricted free agent tenders:
It’s all about kicker Daniel Carlson. Will the Raiders give the restricted free agent a fifth-round tender, extend his deal or let him become an unrestricted free agent? My bet is they will extend his contract as they did with long snapper Trent Sieg. Carlson is very unlikely to leave after a great 2020 season.

Making deals with top free agents:
The top Las Vegas free agents are wide receiver Nelson Agholor, linebacker Nicholas Morrow, guard Denzelle Good and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. The Raiders would like to keep them all, so getting a deals done just before free agency starts is possible.

Miscellaneous business:
The Raiders could cut some other players or do some restructuring in the next week. But the above players will be the focal point as free agency approaches.