There’s no such thing as winning or losing the offseason. It isn’t a competition. Each team will make a number of moves to try and help their team win as many games as possible.
However, there are a lot of people out there who put a lot of emphasis on what teams do in the offseason. Every year, we always hear about winners and losers. Again, it isn’t a competition to see which team can outdo another with the moves they make. With that being said, there are some rankings that recently dropped.
ESPN ranked the worst offseasons so far. Well, if you care at all, they said that the Raiders have had the worst. Yup. Out of the 32 teams ...
What went right: For the third consecutive offseason, the Raiders finally fixed their defense. This time around, they didn’t let the draft picks they’ve been counting on stand in the way. Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram and Trayvon Mullen are among the players who aren’t guaranteed starting jobs after the Raiders signed Yannick Ngakoue, Karl Joseph and Casey Hayward Jr. They have spent years importing talent on defense and failing to get the most out of their additions, a problem new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley has to turn around.
What went wrong: While contracts for Ngakoue and John Brown were relative bargains, the Raiders inexplicably handed Kenyan Drake a two-year, $11 million pact to serve as a second running back alongside first-round pick Josh Jacobs. Las Vegas also dismantled one of the league’s most impressive offensive lines by trading away free-agent addition Trent Brown, star center Rodney Hudson and homegrown guard Gabe Jackson for mid-to-late round picks. The team used a first-round pick on Alex Leatherwood to help replace the losses, but just about every public source regarded the Alabama tackle as an overdraft at No. 17 overall. Teams have more insight into prospects than we typically do, but given the Raiders’ recent track record with draft picks, they don’t deserve any benefit of the doubt.
What they could have done differently: Bradley was regarded as one of the league’s most promising defensive coaches when he took over as Jacksonville’s coach in 2013, but his defenses haven’t been consistent, even when he has had talent to work with. Bradley’s Chargers defenses ranked 10th in each of his first two years with the team, but they fell to 25th and 20th over the past two seasons. His Jags defenses ranked in the top half of the league just once in four years and improved in the season after he was fired. Should the Raiders have made the call to the ultimate turnaround expert and hired Wade Phillips?
What’s left to do: Look for depth at guard. The Raiders signed Nick Martin to compete with Andre James for the starting job at center, but they would be relying on John Simpson and Patrick Omameh at guard if there were injuries. There’s more available at the position than there is in a typical year, so I’d encourage them to look at someone such as Larry Warford or Nick Easton.
Again, no need to put any stock into what the rankings say. However, the worst offseason?!? C’mon, I just find that hard to believe. I don’t know the moves of every team, but certainly there has to be a team out there who has been far worse than Las Vegas.
Oh well, it is just an article. Hope everyone enjoys their Sunday!