The legal tampering period in free agency starts in three days. The Las Vegas Raiders are flush with salary-cap room, and they have a ton of needs on both sides of the ball as they try to bounce back from a bitterly disappointing 6-11 season in 2022.
Let’s rank their offseason needs entering free agency:
There’s not a lot of suspense here. The Raiders badly need a quarterback and we’ve been talking about it since December. This is the top need and the focal point of the offseason. Whether it’s through a trade, free agency or the draft, the quarterback position rules Las Vegas’ offseason.
There are actually two needs here so that’s why it’s so high on the list. The Raiders need both a tackle and a guard. The unit must improve from last season. They could try to re-sign right tackle Jermaine Eluemunor, who had a solid season. But an upgrade at the open slot is pretty major.
The Raiders tried to upgrade with Bilal Nichols last year in free agency, but he didn’t provide much spark. The interior defensive line couldn’t get much pass-rush going at all. The Raiders could really use a horse inside and someone like Washington’s Daron Payne (who is not going to be cheap) would be perfect.
You can easily argue this is the Raiders’ biggest defensive need (and there’s a ton of them). Denzel Perryman is a free agent, the Raiders would like to retain. But they need, at least, one new linebacker and it needs to be an impact player.
This is another big need spot. And, yes, we say that every year. Rock Ya-Sin, acquired for Yannick Ngakoue last year, is a free agent. The Raiders, who have young corners Nate Hobbs and Amik Robertson, could use two new corners and like, at linebacker, they need an impact player here.
Duron Harmon was good last season, but he was signed to a one-year contract. He could be brought back. Tre’von Moehrig was one of the Raiders’ biggest disappointments last season after a strong rookie season in 2021. He may not be a great fit for Patrick Graham’s defense. While there are greater needs, this is also a big one and perhaps Las Vegas will spend in free agency. Someone like Buffalo’s Jordan Poyer could be an interesting fit.
There are other needs, including depth at wide receiver, right end and at pass-rusher. But the above-mentioned needs are pretty pressing. Remember, yes, Las Vegas has a lot of salary-cap room, but with all of these needs, there will be some challenges this offseason.