Raiders Not Planning Free Agent Additions?

With the initial waves of free agency along with the draft having taken place, many teams around the NFL do not have the cap space to make a notable splash this summer. The Raiders have plenty of spending power, but a noteworthy acquisition should not be expected.

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Vegas was one of the teams which executed a post-June 1 release in 2024, moving on from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after one season in Sin City. That created $24MM in cap space, bringing the Raiders’ available funds to roughly $34MM. Rather than committing a portion of that to an immediate addition, the team is planning to keep it for in-season breathing space and future use, Tashan Reed of The Athletic reports (subscription required).

The addition of defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (four years, $110MM) represents the team’s most lucrative outside deal this offseason. Other big-ticket financial moves include the recent acceleration of compensation on edge rusher Maxx Crosby‘s deal and the signing of quarterback Gardner Minshew. A number of veterans remain on the free agent market, but interest from new Raiders GM Tom Telesco does not appear to be high.

As Reed notes, Vegas sees the remaining list of available players as negligible upgrades at positions such as cornerback. Nate Hobbs is set to start in the slot, with Jack Jones in line for a first-team role on the outside. Who will join the latter on the perimeter remains to be seen, but both Reed and Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal write that 2023 Jakorian Bennett has received the most starter’s reps so far this offseason.

By passing on an addition at the CB spot (which could involve the arrival of a player like Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Steven NelsonAdoree’ Jackson or Patrick Peterson), the Raiders will leave funds available for moves at other positions if they become necessary. Poor performance or injuries this summer could require a deal which is not currently deemed necessary. On a larger scale, Reed notes Vegas likely does not see 2024 as the season for a serious run at a Super Bowl, meaning rolling over funds into next year would be a logical approach.

Bonsignore also notes the Raiders should not be expected to aggressively seek out a move with the funds opened up by Garoppolo’s release. Position battles amongst the team’s in-house options will thus be worth watching closely as the rest of the offseason unfolds.

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