Several marquee players escaped the franchise tag in 2021 and there are 5 players the Las Vegas Raiders should target in free agency.
This week, several big-name players were franchise tagged by their teams, either in a bid to simply keep them in town for one more year, or to keep them under contract while a long-term deal was worked out. Players like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin, and Marcus Williams were tagged by their respective teams but several others were not and they should be targeted by the Las Vegas Raiders.
Let’s jump right in with the first name on the list that would give the Raiders a true number one receiver:
Kenny Golladay is coming off an injury-plagued season with the Detroit Lions, but when healthy, he is among the best receivers in the NFL. The Lions are in the middle of a teardown and rebuild, and while they could certainly use a player of Golladay’s caliber, their respective timelines may not match up and they may not want to pay him what he is worth at the moment.
In five games in 2020, Golladay recorded 20 catches for 338 yards and two touchdowns and had two excellent seasons in 2018 and 2019 with 135 receptions for 2,253 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was a prolific downfield threat for the Lions in the mold of Calvin Johnson with a career yard per reception average of 16.8.
Golladay is still just 27 years old and has been in the league for only four years. There is some concern that his injury problems may become chronic but signing him to a long-term deal would be very good business for the Raiders. He is expected to receive a deal in the $15-16 million per year range which may be a bit rich for the Raiders, but if they are unable to bring back Nelson Agholor, they could certainly fit that deal into their plans.
Jon Gruden has done just about everything he can to find a true number one receiver and could finally have one if the Raiders can sign Golladay. There have been no reports of mutual interest but things can heat up very quickly now that Golladay has escaped the tag.