Now that the Super Bowl is complete and the 2021 NFL season is officially over, the next order of business for all NFL teams is preparing for free agency.
According to Over The Cap, the Las Vegas Raiders have 24 unrestricted free agents. They can re-sign at any time. Teams can enter negotiations with free agents from other teams on March 14, which is exactly four weeks away.
The Raiders don’t have a ton of high-profile free agents in 2022. Next year’s free agency is much bigger in free agency with quarterback Derek Carr, defensive end Maxx Crosby and slot receiver Hunter Renfrow all potentially hitting free agency.
Still, there some priority signings for Las Vegas in this free agency cycle.
Let’s look the Raiders’ 2022 free-agent class:
DT Johnathan Hankins, CB Casey Hayward, DT Quinton Jefferson, QB Marcus Mariota.
These are probably the Raiders’ best free agents. Their interest in all of them could vary depending on their fit the new system. For example, the Raiders may look for an entire new group of defensive tackles or value someone like Solomon Thomas over Hankins and Jefferson. The Patriots were rumored to be interested in Mariota last year, so perhaps Josh McDaniels will want to keep Mariota. Hayward had type of 2021 season that most teams would want him in 2022.
TE Derek Carrier, CB Brandon Facyson, WR Zay Jones, LB Nicholas Morrow, RB Jalen Richard, RT Brandon Parker, DT Darius Philon, DT Solomon Thomas, LB K.J. Wright,
Of course, system fit is important in this tier as well. I could see Carrier, Facyson, Jones and Richard getting varied interest as well as Thomas. Philon is good, but he may not be healthy at the start of the season after hurting his knee in Week 18. There aren’t a lot of must-keep names on this list. They all can be upgraded from.
RB Peyton Barber, G Jermaine Eluemunor, G Richie Incognito, WR DeSean Jackson, LB Marquel Lee, C Nick Martin, DT Gerald McCoy, LB Patrick Onwuasor, G Jordan Simmons, CB Desmond Trufant, LB Kyle Wilbur,
Most of the players on this list are players past their prime, had big injury issues or are simply bottom-of-the-roster types. Perhaps Eluemunor will interest this brass. He started eight games for the Patriots in 202.
Whether the Raiders bring back many free agents will be based on scheme fit and don’t expect the team to break the bank on any of them.