There are too many big-time defensive players available this free agency period for the Las Vegas Raiders not to make a big splash.
A new city, a new building, and a new tax code should be enough for the Las Vegas Raiders to make a big splash in free agency this year. With plenty of cap space, and a general manager who can go out and get players, the Silver and Black must be active, and they must be active on the defensive side of the ball.
While most of the talk surrounding the Las Vegas Raiders has centered around quarterback Derek Carr, and whether they should sign Tom Brady, the fact is, the defense is the biggest problem. No matter who comes in here and plays quarterback in 2020, this team is not going to the playoffs unless they upgrade the defense.
When it comes to the defense, the Raiders need help on all three levels, whether that is adding more talent up front along the defensive line, at all linebacker positions, and cornerback. Luckily for the Raiders, there are some standout players hitting free agency this offseason on defense, and Mike Mayock should be in on all of them.
Byron Jones or Chris Harris could immediately upgrade the cornerback spot, as would a guy like Logan Ryan, who is entering free agency after helping the Tennessee Titans to the AFC title game. At linebacker, Blake Martinez, Joe Schobert, and Cory Littleton could completely revamp this position group, and would be impact players for the Silver and Black.
Las Vegas added solid pieces via the 2019 NFL Draft to their defense in Maxx Crosby, Johnathan Abram, Trayvon Mullen, and Clelin Ferrell, and in 2018, they added guys like P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst. In 2020, free agency should be the way they add to this defensive unit, and there is a lot for Mayock to choose from.
Last offseason, the Raiders biggest gets via free agency were wide receiver Antonio Brown and offensive guard Richie Incognito, only one of which who actually helped the team. Mayock is not afraid to go after the big-name, and I believe the team is going to be all-in on guys like Littleton and Jones for sure.
With two first round picks, and five of the first 91 selections, the Raiders have the draft capital to significantly improve this roster as well. This is going to be one heck of an offseason for the Raiders, who had a three-win improvement in 2019, and are looking to make the playoffs in their first season in Las Vegas in 2020.