3 free agents Raiders were wise to avoid

The Raiders spent big money this month, but at least it wasn't on these guys.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages
1 of 2

There's no denying it – the Raiders spent a ton of money in free agency.

It's fair to be nervous about that, as the team is dangerously close to earning the infamous title of Offseason Champion, which more or less guarantees an eight win season. New GM Tom Telesco has a history of handing out big contracts, and with the Antonio Pierce era truly starting this winter – plus the fact that, well, they're the Raiders – it always seemed logical that there was going to be a bunch of checks being written in Las Vegas this month. Christian Wilkins was the headliner, brought in to revamp the Raiders' defensive line on a four-year, $110 million contract that basically set the defensive line market.

But besides Wilkins, signing guys like QB Gardner Minshew, C Andre James, and RB Ameer Abdullah highlight was has been a predictable – yet at times, confusing – offseason for the Raiders. They're far from the only team to hand out some questionably large contracts though, and these are the three free agents that the Raiders were wise to avoid.

Maybe we should just be happy that they didn't splurge on these guys – it can help distract us from the Minshew contract.

3 free agents Raiders were wise to avoid

1. Kirk Cousins, QB, Atlanta Falcons

Deal: Four-years, $180 million

Giving Cousins exactly the contract he wanted felt like something the Raiders were destined to do, so kudos to them for holding off (even if it did mean giving Minshew the contract he wanted, which is arguably worse?). $180 million is a lot for most of the quarterbacks in the NFL, which is saying something considering that most aren't 35 years old and coming off of a pretty serious injury to his achilles heel.

When he's healthy and playing well, Cousins is one of the best 10 QBs in the NFL, but both of those feel awfully up in the air now given the situation he finds himself in. If the Raiders really were resigned to spending the next couple seasons with a bridge QB, it's probably wise they chose the most cost-efficient one.

Cousins will almost-certainly play well for a couple years in Atlanta, but the Raiders were wise to not let him get in the way of whoever their next franchise QB ends up being.