3 moves Raiders need to make in free agency after getting tons of new cap space

Offloading Jimmy G and a historic salary cap increase means the Raiders can make some important moves this offseason.

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
1 of 2

In a weird way, the two game suspension that Jimmy Garoppolo received for a violation of the NFL’s PED policy was the best thing that could have happened to the Raiders this offseason.

Even before the news, there were plenty of rumors out there stating that Las Vegas was looking to move on from Jimmy G, even at the expense of a pretty large cap hit. But because of specific language in the contract, his positive test frees up the Raiders to cut the veteran QB and void the rest of his contract.

So, assuming they do that before his incentives kick in on the 5th day of the new league year, the Raiders – who already have a ton of cap space this year – will go into free agency with an additional $11 million to work with. And while there’s already plenty of young talent on the Raiders roster to build around, they’re not exactly playoff contenders yet, especially in a brutal AFC West that doesn’t look like it’s getting any weaker any time soon.

But with an extra $11 million at their disposal, Vegas can start chipping away at the Chiefs’ dynasty.

Here’s how: 

Steal Chris Jones away from Kansas City

I know that Jones got up on stage at the Chiefs’ victory parade and committed to another three years in Kansas City, but anyone who has ever tried day drinking can probably tell you that the ideas you think of at 1pm don’t quite sound as good later that night.

The Raiders have some pretty decent – or, at the very least, intriguing – depth at edge behind Maxx Crosby, but the interior of the defensive line could use some work. And while they did actually have a decent run stop win rate percentage in 2023, most of that was because Crosby is a freak of nature, and led the entire NFL in that category.

Jones is still an All-Pro caliber defensive lineman, but he’s also turning 30 this year and probably only has one last contract’s worth of elite performance left. Stealing away one of your division rival’s best players always comes at a premium, but if the Raiders want to make a statement to start the non-interim Antonio Pierce era, making an offer he can’t refuse would be a good way to start.