Las Vegas Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock had some interesting thoughts on how the team will approach free agency and, by reading between the lines, fans may need to be prepared for the team to not be big players early in the process.
Mayock said it all depends on what the Raiders have under the salary cap — and that is a work in progress. He did say, however, that there is a chance the Raiders can swing for one or two big-ticket items, the situation is right.
But he did say the team will be “patient.”
“I think we’re going to be active, the question is, at what level?” Mayock speculated. “We’ve been active with players on Day 1 and Day 2 in the last couple years. I think there is going to be a lot of depth in the free agency market this particular year. I think there are going to be more veterans out there on the market and I think it’s incumbent upon us to be patient. Would we take a shot at a high-level player or two?
“Sure, if we believed in the person and had the money available. But right now, I don’t even know how much money we will or won’t have available. That jigsaw puzzle is still taking place, but one way or another I think we’ll be active in free agency. I don’t know if it will be Day 1, Week 1 or Month 1, but at some point, I would expect us to try and fill some holes in free agency.”
The good thing for Las Vegas is positions like pass rusher and safety, which the Raiders both need, are deep in free agency, so the Raiders could get upgrades even if they do wait some time.
Here are some other topics Mayock addressed on Wednesday:
- With more quarterback trade rumors swirling once again, Mayock said he and Raiders coach Jon Gruden stand behind quarterback Derek Carr. This is no surprise, they always say that.
- Mayock thinks the draft will have more pass rushers than he earlier thought, and that a solid pass rusher could be available in the third round.
- Mayock said it was terrible playing in empty stadiums in 2020 and he hopes that is behind us all next season as it is difficult for teams to create their own energy on game day.
- Mayock said in most defenses there is not much difference in the two safety spots, but in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme, the Raiders will need a true free safety to pair with Johnathan Abram, at strong safety. It is a deep free agency class at free safety.
- Predictably, Mayock had big praise for free-agent wide receiver Nelson Agholor and Mayock said the team wants his back.