The Las Vegas Raiders trade of Trent Brown to the New England Patriots on Tuesday was the cherry on the top of a horrible 2019 free agency spending spree by Raiders’ czar Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock, who was then in his first offseason with the team.
The Raiders went big and they swung and missed. Now, they are shedding those deals in an attempt to try to add to this season’s roster.
The #Raiders made a big free agent splash in 2019 with these three signings— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) March 9, 2021
Trent Brown- $16.5M/year; $36.25M guaranteed
Tyrell Williams- $11M/year; $22M guaranteed
LaMarcus Joyner- $10.5M/year; $21.3M guaranteed
All three are going to be gone by 2021.
The Raiders also spent big in free agency in 2020 ... and so far, those acquisitions haven’t worked out either.
Free agency mistakes can cripple a franchise and the Raiders are starting to feel the affects. As it stands now, the Raiders — who faded down the stretch in 2020 and finished 8-8 — are worse now than they were at the end of last season. They have massive needs on defense and now with them walking away from three starting offensive lineman — Brown, Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito (he could return) — there is major work to do on the offensive line.
They have cleared about $35 million in salary cap room and they will acquire players, but they must hit on those players.
They are starting to play a dangerous game. Teams can’t be successful by constantly trying to make up for past mistakes. They need to build a foundation and enhance the roster in free agency.
Instead of building on what the Raiders have built in the past three years in Gruden’s return, they are starting to chase their own tail.
That doesn’t work.
This isn’t quite a crisis for the franchise, but the Raiders now have glaring holes on both sides of the ball and they must make the right decisions this offseason to stop the bleeding.