Raiders free agency: Las Vegas loses key FA target at significant position of need

The Las Vegas Raiders need help at defensive tackle, but the best free agent target at the position is no longer available.

Raiders FA target
Raiders FA target / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders have a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball this offseason, and on defense, none is bigger than at defensive tackle. Over the past few seasons, the Raiders have tried to bolster that position group with draft picks and free agency signings, but still, a need at the position looms large.

Looking at this year's free agency class, the position group is deep, giving the Raiders the opportunity to add a player who could have a significant impact in Year 1. This weekend, the Raiders made it clear to Jerry Tillery that he would not be back in 2024, weakening the position group a bit more, but with talent available, he was an easy guy to release to create more cap space.

On Saturday night, one elite player at the position group was inked to a new deal, ending any dream of bringing in the best player available at defensive tackle in free agency.

Raiders rival ink star player to new deal

AFC West rival had a big decision to make when it came to Chris Jones this offseason, widely considered one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. Heading into free agency, the Chiefs made sure that Jones would remain with the team, agreeing to a new five-year deal on Saturday night.

Jones is a perennial All-Pro player, and teaming him with Maxx Crosby and Malcolm Koonce on the edge would have given the Raiders a significant presence on the interior of their defensive line. Now, the Raiders must shift their focus elsewhere, and the hope is that they can bolster the position group enough to help the defensive continue to move in the right direction.

There is plenty of talent left in free agency and the draft, but Jones staying with the Chiefs is a tough reminder that the best of the AFC West should remain strong heading into 2024.