3 easiest roster decisions for Las Vegas Raiders this offseason

Some moves are difficult to pull off. These? Not so much.

Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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2. Signing Christian Wilkins

Granted, giving $100 million to a 28-year old defensive lineman who's only ever had one season of double-digit sacks feels a bit nervy, but it was a move the Raiders had to do.

On the field, their defensive line was seriously lacking, and now the team finally has someone else on that line that plays at, or close to, the same talent level of Maxx Crosby.

For what it's worth, Wilkins' personality also fits right in with the Raiders' ethos, which isn't as important as it is just a nice kicker. Setting a tone defensively will be a major part of Pierce's time as Raiders' coach, and getting one of the best available free agents in this year's class shows the league that Las Vegas is at least going to try and make a run at the Chiefs' AFC West dominance.

Maybe the contract ages poorly, but for what the Raiders need in the immediate future, signing Wilkins was a no-brainer.

3. Letting Bilal Nichols walk

When the Raiders signed Nichols, the move was at least intriguing: he was one of the premier run-stopping interior lineman in football while he played with the Bears, and how he played during his rookie season on that historic 2018 Chicago defense was one of the more underrated parts of that unit.

His numbers never quite rebounded, but he had a couple decent stretches of play during the end of his Bears' tenure, and rolling the dice on him returning to form made sense. But things never got better in Vegas, with both seasons grading out as below replacement-level, according to Pro Football Focus.

As a pass-rusher, his numbers of declined steadily over the last four years, and his calling-card run stopping isn't carrying him anymore, either. Letting him test the market – he ultimately signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Cardinals – while replacing him with *Christian Wilkins* is probably the easiest decision they'll make all offseason.

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