The National Football League (NFL) free agency has already begun. We’ll be tracking the targets and major signings and releases and trades happening in the Raiders camp. The league officially kicks off on March 17, 2021, meaning that changes and free agents will start being made official soon. The first NFL draft round will begin on April 29, 2021.
Undoubtedly, the Raiders are a huge team looking at their track record over the years. The Raiders free agent targets 2017 were some big names in the NFL. The Raiders’ pick for each target is meant to address the issues the team was lacking at the time. The past two seasons have seen the team start strong, heading directly to the playoffs only to struggle in the end. They have ended up missing the postseason in both years. However, in 2020 they seemed to level it by going 8-8, which ended their losing season after three long years.
Now, it’s a possibility that the Raiders could have a comeback to the playoffs that they last tasted in the 2016 season. These purely depend on what moves they will make regarding their targets, signings, and releases. Making the right moves could save them from another loss and lead them right to the playoffs.
While it’s expected that they will bring in some free agents, there is a possibility that they will also have some trade-offs to help them balance the team and meet their current needs. Some of their targets could come from a long line of strong players available at this time. They might have to pick more than one.
Below Are the Potential Targets the Raiders and Signings
Harrison Smith – Minnesota Vikings
By taking in Harrison Smith, the Raiders could be adding safety and therefore improving their defense. After Jonathan Abram’s numerous struggles with injuries in the past few years, including 2020, Smith could be the team’s rescue man. Currently, the Raiders do not have any prospect that could effectively take over as safety from Jonathan.
It would help if the Raiders can consider and find a way for trading Harrison Smith, who is currently in the final season of his Minnesota Vikings contract.
Another Minnesota Vikings, Captain Munnerlyn, comprised the Raiders free agent targets 2017, but he ended up with Carolina Panthers.
Harrison’s entire NFL career has been in Minnesota, where he is an excellent defense player in the course of that time. The year 2010 saw him have 89 tackles, ten pass deflections, and five interceptions in the 16 Vikings games he played.
However, according to CBS Sports, the team was quite open to trading him, although that is still unclear. But, if by chance the Minnesota Vikings are ready to trade him off, the Raiders could do well with him as a way to improve their seemingly lacking defense at this time.
Alshon Jeffrey -Philadelphia Eagles
During the last season, the Raiders received fantastic results from Nelson Agholor, formerly from the Philadelphia Eagles. His impressive play made him the leading receiver at the Raiders camp. In the 16 games he played during the season, he had eight touchdowns and 48 passes for 896 yards. He is now a free agent this offseason again as well. If the Raiders are unwilling to bring him back, they can opt for another well-known receiver from the Philadelphia Eagles, Alshon Jeffrey.
Although Alshon has only played 17 games in the past two seasons because of injuries, he still holds a good potential of becoming the Raiders’ next strong receiver. As the Raiders look for potential trades, Jeffrey should be a player they should be interested in. If he gets released by the Eagles, the Raiders could have an even better chance to take him, and it could end up boosting their 2021 play tremendously.
Raiders Free Agency Picks & Recap
However, the Raiders picked their signings and addressed some issues such as the defense, tackle, defensive tackle, and other areas. The recent signings were Quinton Jefferson and Soloman Thomas to cover defensive tackle and Yannick Ngakoue for the passes. Other players who were returned were Nicholas Morrow, line breaker Jonathan Hankins, defensive tackle, and Nevin Lawson as the corner. They also re-assigned some players.
But they don’t seem to have sorted out their issues entirely as they did not add to their secondary, although he finished at the bottom six. They should think about adding a corner and safety if possible. Boosting the safety could go a long way to help keep the team in the season for longer and all the way to the postseason.
The Raiders could also use more strength and depth in the offensive tackle as well. Some of the current picks have not yet shown what they can do to fill the gap left by Antonio Brown, who is now a free agent. Although Denzelle Good is a great tackle, he needs help to strengthen that area.