3 former Raiders players who won’t live up to their new contracts

Raiders fans can be glad that these guys will be playing elsewhere next year.

Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders
Minnesota Vikings v Las Vegas Raiders / Ian Maule/GettyImages

Comparatively speaking, the Raiders have been on the busier side of things during NFL free agency.

They signed arguably the biggest name available on the defensive line (considering that Chris Jones, let's be honest, wasn't going to leave the Cheifs), watched their franchise running back leave for Green Bay, and got out from under a bad quarterback contract thanks mostly to said quarterback's dumb medical decisions.

On both sides of the ball next season, the Raiders figure to look way different than they did in 2023.

That's certainly not a bad thing – it's not like the 7-9 Raiders, as they currently constructed, were primed for the proverbial next step, but it'll still be interesting to see who steps up as the face of the team next season, besides Davante Adams. Also, it'll be equally as interesting to see how those former Raiders do elsewhere.

So, for our money, these are the three Raiders who probably won't live up to their new contracts.

3 former Raiders players who won’t live up to their new contracts

1. Josh Jacobs

Jacobs will always have a special place in Raiders' lore – it's hard not to when you run for over 5,000 yards and have 46 touchdowns with the team that originally drafted you. But a 4-year, $48 million contract with Green Bay just screams 'mistake,' especially for a running back who's already five years into his career.

Fair or not, there's always going to be some skepticism about running backs getting big second contracts.

While Jacobs may have a good year or two in Green Bay, paying him almost $15 million per year seems like a decision that won't age particularly well. The potentital out after two years and $29 million seems awfully likely.

2. Bilal Nichols

Woof, Cardinals. Giving Nichols a three-year, $21 million deal sure seems like a reach, especially considering the former Bears defensive lineman hasn't really been good since he was in Chicago. He's never been more than a run-stopping interior lineman, and even that hasn't gone well for him of late – according to Pro Football Focus, his run-stop grade has declined in each of the last three seasons.

Maybe the Cardinals see something that everyone else doesn't, but then again, it's the Cardinals, so they probably don't.

3. Austin Hooper

It's hard to say that a contract won't age well when it's only a one-year deal, but the Patriots have a weird recent history of taking potentially good tight ends and letting them just sit on the bench. Jonnu Smith and Mike Gesicki both proceeded to head to New England only to have career-worst seasons, which is probably just a coincidence – with maybe a touch of coaching malpractice – but still doesn't look great for Hooper.

Jerod Mayo may have a better idea of what to do with a tight end like Hooper, but recent precedent doesn't look great here.