Jon Gruden rolling the dice on youth this time around with the Raiders
Attacking players in their prime in free agency
Gone are the days when Gruden would bring in aging players via free agency, as we have seen the Raiders add quality, young pieces in recent offseason. The Raiders opted to go after players who are in, or entering their prime in order to maximize their investment, and welcome the team to the new market of Las Vegas.
This offseason, the team picked up key pieces in Maliek Collins, Cory Littleton, and Nick Kwiatkoski for the defensive side of the ball, and all three are just entering their prime. They are going to be expected to anchor a defensive overhaul in Vegas, as the team looks to keep pace with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.
As Raiders franchise quarterback Derek Carr enters his seventh season and third under head coach Jon Gruden, he looks to line up with the most talented team he has had in his entire tenure in the NFL. This is a roster that is not only ready to win-now, but ready to win for the forseeable future, which is not what we could have said when Gruden took over back in 2018.
When Gruden arrived in 2018, he gambled on moving two of the Raiders star players in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. At the time, the fan base groaned, especially when the team traded Mack, who was a generational talent, and Defensive Player of the Year. Now, it looks like Gruden and company have been pressing all the right buttons, and the new-look Raiders look to debut their younger, faster team against the Panthers in Carolina on September 13th with the first of hopefully many 2020 wins.