It was another season on the outside looking in at the playoffs for the Las Vegas Raiders, who finished the year with an 8-9 record. Incredibly, they were technically still alive for not only a playoff spot in Week 17, but possibly an AFC West title, though those dreams were dashed in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Still, there were a lot of good takeaways from this past season, as Antonio Pierce emerged as a potential long-term solution as head coach, and the defense finished in the top-10 in the NFL. There are roster issues to iron out this offseason, including who the Raiders plan on being their quarterback for 2024 and beyond, but for the most part, this roster is in as good a shape as it has been in quite some time.
With plenty of money in cap space, and solid draft position, we will see some new faces join the franchise and take on large roles in 2024. In free agency, the Raiders will have big decisions to make, especially when it comes to running back Josh Jacobs, and there are plenty of solid veterans hitting the market this offseason.
Over at Pro Football Focus, Gordon McGuinness put together a list of one player each NFL team should target in free agency this offseason. For the Raiders, the choice was an odd one, as he had them keying on a defensive end that can help take some of the pressure off of star Maxx Crosby.
Raiders should target Josh Uche in free agency?
The pick for McGuinness is edge rusher Josh Uche, who he feels would be a solid complement to Crosby in the pass rush. The issue with this is that the Raiders have bigger needs than more depth at defensive end, especially with the way Malcolm Koonce came on this season, and Tyree Wilson playing better down the stretch.
Uche played in 15 games for the New England Patriots last season, racking up three sacks as a defensive end, and linebacker. That was a far cry from the 2022 NFL season, where he posted 11.5 sacks and had 14 quarterback hits.
There is no doubt that Uche would be a solid depth guy for the Raiders, and help a pass rush that improved in a big way this past season. However, looking around at other free agents, I believe the Raiders money would be best spent elsewhere, like improving the secondary, adding to the offensive line, and even bringing in depth at defensive tackle.