For the new Las Vegas Raiders’ regime, the focus is squarely on building toward the 2022 NFL season.
Yet, if they are looking for inspiration, they can look at the AFC representative in Sunday’s Super Bowl, the Cincinnati Bengals. The have built a quick Super Bowl roster through free agency. According to the below tweet by the Associated Press, Cincinnati has been among the most active spenders in free agency the past two years.
Bengals handed out 7th most money in free agency last offseason and 2nd most in 2020 per @spotrac. The previous 4 seasons they ranked in the bottom 5 each year— Josh Dubow (@JoshDubowAP) February 7, 2022
There has long been a theory in some NFL circles that free agency isn’t the way to build a winner. But it clearly has helped in the Bengals’ case.
The Bengals went 2-14 in 2019, 4-11-1 in 2020 and 10-7. Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels are taking over a team that went 10-7 in 2021 and lost to the Bengals in the Super Wild Card round last month. There isn’t a ton of roster maneuvering to do, but this example shows that spending in free agency can help a team make the final push to the Super Bowl.
The Patriots, where Ziegler and McDaniels came to the Raiders from, have not always spent big in free agency, but they were quite active last offseason. It will be interesting to see how they approach this offseason’s spending,
Other Raiders’ links: