If you thought the Raiders finally adding some names the mainstream NFL media would recognize would finally bring at least a small amount of respect to Oakland think again as the good folks at ProFootballTalk have decided that the Raiders adding over $60 million in talent from 2013 wasn’t enough to impress them heading into the 2014 NFL Preseason.
Out of the 32 NFL teams, PFT decided to give the Raiders the distinction of being the worst team in the NFL in their opinion heading into the preseason.
Noting the Raiders additional and proven talent in 2014, PFT decided to go the other way and label the additions of Matt Schaub, Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tarrel Brown, and Carlos Rogers as negatives rather than positives thanks to the age of each player.
Believing that the Raiders 2014 FA’s don’t have much in the tank and the Raiders playing in a division with three playoff teams, PFT feels that the Raiders are deserving of the #32 position in their extremely early power rankings.
In the best-case scenario, the 2014 Raiders prove engineered to win now.
In the worst-case scenario, they are a collection of yesterday’s news.
The Raiders shook up their roster in free agency, signing at least a half-dozen players who figure as starters. They traded for Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, who comes off his worst season but helped lead Houston to a wild-card win in each of the previous two campaigns.
That is the thing about the Raiders — the résumés of the assembled talent look quite good. Schaub has made two Pro Bowls, and free agent additions Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Tuck, Donald Penn, Carlos Rogers, Antonio Smith and LaMarr Woodley have combined nine Pro Bowl nods to their credit, per Pro Football Reference records.
However, of those seven players, the 29-year-old Jones-Drew is the youngest — and he gained a mere 3.4 yards per carry a season ago. Schaub, Tuck, Penn, Rogers and Smith are all 30 or older, and Woodley turns 30 in November.
The Raiders had salary-cap space to use this offseason, and they did not lack for needs. And let there be no doubt: the Raiders’ depth chart is better for all that spending. But will it be enough for Oakland to close the gap on its AFC West rivals, all of whom made the postseason in 2013?
For what it is worth it is still far too early to take stock in any website’s Power Rankings (if you should ever take stock in the power rankings of a writer/blogger in the first place, except ours of course) and nobody should lose sleep over PFT saying that the Raiders are the worst team in the league seven days into the month of July. However it is interesting that PFT feels the Raiders, who added in the offseason while other struggling teams lost talent, are the worst assembled team in the NFL. Age is nothing but a number, and the players brought into Oakland are all a few years away from retirement at least so it is strange that the mainstream media feels so confident that the Raiders new veterans are going to be free agency busts. Only time will tell if that rings true.