The Las Vegas Raiders are building up a ton of cap space this offseason, but what good is it if they do not know how to spend it.
Ever since Jon Gruden stepped in for his second stint as the Raiders head coach three years ago, the majority of the teams’ free agent signings haven’t panned out, despite having a plethora of cap space to work with the past few off-seasons.
In Gruden’s first season as the head coach for the then-Oakland Raiders back in 2018, not much of a splash was made in free agency. Reggie Mckenzie was still officially the GM during the off-season and most of the season but we all know who was really running the show.
Without making any first-wave signings, the Raiders’ “key” signings were CB Rashaan Melvin on a one-year deal, WR Jordy Nelson for two years, LB Tahir Whitehead on a 3-year deal, Safety Marcus Gilchrist, FB Keith Smith, RB Doug Martin, and DT Johnathan Hankins.
Of the above signings, only Hankins lasted through the 2020 season and is currently a free agent. That being said, 2018 was a rebuilding year and so I won’t give Gruden too much flack for the signings as they were mostly just short-term fillers.
Mike Mayock came aboard as GM during the 2019 off-season, and he and Jon Gruden made some big splashes in free agency that year. However, the moves now look disastrous looking back.