With the veterans reporting to training camp today, this is an intriguing season for many reasons for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Among those reasons is a group of players who may be entering their final season with the team. They must impress the new Las Vegas brass immediately or plan to have a new home in 2023.
Let’s take a look at some of those players, in alphabetical order:
The safety is one of three 2019 first-round picks the Raiders didn’t give the fifth-year option to, thus, Abram will be a free agent in 2023. So, he is likely entering his final season in Las Vegas. If Abram plays well this season. He could have a strong free-agent market. So, he might get a better offer elsewhere. The key for Abram is to hold off free-agent signing Duron Harmon as the starting strong safety and then take it from there.
The veteran backup running back is entering the second of a two-year deal with the Raiders. Drake. a favorite of former Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden, seems to fit Josh McDaniels’ offense. Still, Drake, 28, very well be could be entering his last season with the Raiders since the team has already brought in several new running backs. But if Drake is, indeed, a good fit in McDaniels’ system, I could see him back in 2023.
Like Abram, the No. 4 overall draft pick in 2019, did not get his option picked up and is a free agent next year. I really don’t see any way that he is back in 2023 unless he gets no other better options in free agency. This simply looks like a situation where he needs a fresh start.
Jacobs, of course, is also one of the 2019 3 first-round picks. Never say never, but it looks highly unlikely that he will return in 2023. The Raiders drafted Zamir White in the fourth round and he is likely being groomed to be the starter in 2023. I expect the Raiders to use Jacobs a lot this season and then let him walk.
The second-round pick in 2019 is also a free agent. He has flashed, but he has also been inconsistent and oft injured. Still, cornerbacks do very well in free agency. So, I can see Mullen going elsewhere in 2023 whether he has a good season or not. But the Raiders will be open to him returning if he plays well this season. It’s up to him.
The third-round pick in 2018 was surprisingly re-signed this offseason. If he doesn’t play much, he will likely be leaving as a free agent again next year. But if he can be a starter at right tackle, Parker could get another deal in Las Vegas.